a journey filled with many familiar paths and some not yet taken... all leading to the ever-changing destinations just waiting to be discovered.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Like wings of a dove
Lifting to unending skies
Bound at last for home.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I am linking this short Haiku to One Shot Wednesday where you can find many poems by many others.  They accept all types of poetry from anyone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Black Leather Gloves

photo prompt for Magpie #46
 As she came down the stairs, her hand gliding across the smoothness of the banister, the gloves there on the wooden phone table, she let her thoughts flow freely recalling the midnight sky of last night.  Standing on the pier, waiting for him, the night air was brisk and as she slipped the leather gloves over the long slender fingers, snowflakes dancing in the night, one landing on the back of her hand, twinkling against the black leather like the stars in the darkness of the midnight sky.  Then she felt his hand as he tenderly touched her neck, brushing the hair aside, then kissing her neck as he engulfed her in his strong arms.  They stood there together, watching the snowflakes dance down to the water, as if landing in the spotlight of the stage.  She could feel the warmth of his embrace in the night air, the scent of him filled her mind with thoughts of the lingering night.  The walk along the pier, him on bended knee, asking..... 

She couldn't wait for this day to end, to see him, be in his arms again, even though she was only on her way down the stairs for her morning cup of tea.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I am linking this post to Magpie Tales as it was inspired by this weeks photo prompt, #46.  Hope you enjoyed this short tale.  To read others inspired by this prompt, stop by Magpie Tales to share those written by others.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Twas Just This Morning When

photo by Adam Dustus @ One Shoot Sunday
Twas just this morning when,
Children circling on ice, laughing,
Thoughts of presents under the tree,
Lights like tiny stars sparkling in the day.

Twas just this morning when,
Sounds of glory, music played,
Men in suits, beating their drums,
All lined marching the wonder of the day.

Twas just this morning when,
We waited at gates, searching faces,
Memories of days gone by, Christmas' past,
All waiting to be shared here in these moments now.

Twas just this morning when,
Families gathered round the tree,
Wee little ones, waiting for these gifts,
All sitting round gathered for another present day.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season, filled with moments, memories to be felt for years to come.  Moments in time, forever left as a gift within our hearts.  I am linking this over to One Shoot Sunday and the photo prompt today taken by Adam Dustus.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Child's First Call to Serve

 I've sat here pondering this picture, this weeks prompt over at Magpie Tales hosted by Willow.  Then I read over a few of the other takes, and again sat here pondering this picture.  Throughout this time, my thoughts kept running back to a cold winter's night long ago, a white blanket covering the roads, icicles dangling from the evergreen trees.  As I was about to enter the church for a Christmas Eve service late in the evening, I glanced to the sky as the flakes again began to fall.  There, up high, the stained glass window, very similar to this, caught my attention as the streetlight rays bounced off of the babe, sending a ray to the ground in front of where I stood.  And then as I entered the building, the pastor called me to his office, he had a request of me....

A Child's First Call to Serve

I sat quietly nervous, wondering why,
This night of all nights, the Eve of your birth,
Be it that he would ask of me to help, why,
picture prompt #45 for Magpie Tales
What did he know of my time here on earth?

How could he know it was my time to serve You,
My knees bounced, tapping nerves, reading a psalm,
Welling up in my heart, eyes filled with tears too,
How many people,  my heart was still calm.

Then I looked to the colored glass up so high,
Words left my heart remembering The child,
And through my prayers, was You who called me nigh,
The tale we shared, one so tender and mild.

The world's gift, a child born to a man and his wife,
On this night, this the CELEBRATION of Your life.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

Obviously, it turned into a very special night, one that I shall carry with me always.  Thanks Covell (he was the pastor with the request of this young child).  I believe I had just turned twelve earlier that month... and I believe there were over 150 in attendance.


This is a poem that I wrote many years ago when I was going through a difficult time, however, I also feel that it can apply to changing times in our lives as well.  I'm going to post it over at One Shot Wednesday.  Hope you all enjoy.


We see something we want, desire,
We make a choice...

We expect something in the choice,
We see the change...

Or at least in the choice, our choice,
There is a change...

Is what we expect the same change,
Or yet a new...

Can we expect only specific,
Or only change...

Can we deal with another change,
Or just our choice...

Can a change be used to destroy,
Or choice for strength...

Must it be choice that becomes change,
Or change our choice...

Must change always be a battle,
When choice was us...

My choice was to love you always,
What is our change?

Petrina Lesko
May 1986

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Sketches - 1st attempt

I've dabbled with various forms of art in the past including soft pastels which I really enjoyed using.  I found some of the oil pastels at a very reasonable price, so thought I would give it a try.  However, scanning it in also caused it to fade a bit, but... here it is. 

Petrina Lesko 2010
Thought I would share it with you all over at Sunday Sketches.  This would be my first attempt... but have been browsing over the last couple of weeks and have been totally fascinated with the idea of combining this with some of my poetry here on my blog.  Hope this sketch shows enough.

Open Roads Travelled

This picture* was taken from One Shoot Sunday this week.  Inspirational thoughts of 'Open Roads' and new beginnings.  Hope you enjoy my take on this prompt.

Feininger, Andreas:  1906-1999, photographer

Open Roads Travelled

Do these roads truly exist anymore?
Long winding roads through open lands,
Wondering to ourselves, what will it have in store,
These open roads travelled, holding the steering wheel in hands.

Do these roads truly exist anywhere?
Cities come closer together as we gather,
Structures dotting the streets, where trees used to care,
These open roads travelled, this soul would surely take to, rather.

Do these roads truly exist anymore?
Leisurely drives reaching for Sunday breezes,
Searching the countryside, outside the house,  the door,
These open roads travelled, memories strong, oh, yes, just teases.

Structures dotting the streets, where trees used to care,
These open roads travelled, longing of days to find, if you dare.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

*Image via Creative Commons—
The Library of Congress photostream.http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2179126159/

Friday, December 10, 2010


CUT & DRIED by Les Wilson via Thursday Tales

As we pulled down the long driveway, passing the fields near the road, I could see him standing there in the distance.  He was standing in his usual place, leaning over the fence near the yard, looking out to the fields, taking it all in.

As the car pulled to a stop near the old barn, I pushed open the door and bolted, running to let him know we were here.  'Jenny close the car door before...' I could hear the words drift off as I ran toward him.

'What are you doing Gramps?  Is everything okay?...' I rambled as I ran up to him there at the fence.  'Hello Jenny,' he said as he turned and bent down to hug me.  'Everything is good.  I was just appreciating that all is cut and dried, the days work done and looking forward to having dinner with you and your Dad.'  I had already climbed up on the gate and peered over, just as he did, looking, appreciating the beauty of his farm.  Off in the distance, just over where the creek would be, I could see the faint wings of the birds fluttering about near the tree.

As he entered the house, 'Hi Mom, how are you?  How was your day?'  She turned looking to him drying her hands on the towel draped over her apron.  'Good, all is cut and dried, the roast is just about ready.  Where's Jenny?'  'She's already out, hanging on the fence, taking it all in.  She loves the beauty just about as much as I did when I was her age,'  he answered.  He placed the cake on the counter and asked if there was anything he could help with as he leaned over kissing her on the cheek.  'You can go try to hurry 'em up, otherwise he'll be standing at that old fence until the cows come home.' They both laughed and he turned, walking out the kitchen door, coming toward where we were.

...She opened the door and walked out to the porch, looking in the direction of the gate.  There, the three stood silhouettes, leaning on the old fence, the sunset just beyond, orange filled skies rising just above their heads.

This is my first attempt for Thursday Tales.  The photo this week is by Les Wilson called 'Cut & Dried'.  Hope you enjoy short tale.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just to Be

This was written quite a long time ago, but seemed fitting for this day and age and the busy days of holiday preparations.  I am linking this over at One Shot Wednesday.  Hope you all enjoy.

Just to Be

I look around me now,
As I sit and wonder how,
Each day I look to find the new,
But all I can want, is free and true...

I look around to feel,
As I sit the free is real,
Each day I look to find the way,
But all I can want, is through the day...

I look around me now,
As I sit and wonder how,
Each day I look to find the why,
But all I can want, is to see sky...

I look around to feel,
As I sit the free is real,
Each day I look to find the sun,
But all I can want, is to have won...

I look around me now,
As I sit and wonder how,
Each day I look to find the me,
But all I can want, is just to be...

I look around to feel,
As I sit the free is real,
Each day I look to find the me,
But all I can want, is just to be!

Petrina Lesko

Dreams of Snow Days

The following poem was inspired by thoughts of childhood days, fun-filled times with friends and the youth of wonderland awe, memories sparked by the picture posted at this weeks prompt on Magpie Tales.  As always, thank you once again Willow for another great challenge.

prompt #44 for Magpie Tales
Dreams of Snow Days

Slumber wakes dreams of sleigh bells ringing nigh,
Hills to climb, my turn is sure to be soon.
Up on the hill, getting ready so high,
Evening darkness lit by beams of moon.

Snowflakes glisten over the hills for me,
The blanket so white, not a step is there,
To my window I jump hoping there be,
For in my dreams, school is out, I don't care.

Today will be one of playing in snow,
Balls flying high across the streets at you,
Men created by you and me to show,
Snow days coming, oh so long overdue.

Pops, hurry up please, and pull down the sleigh,
Out in the wonderland for all today!

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

Hoping everyone is having a great week so far, with not too much of the white stuff to deal with on their busy mornings getting off to work.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lucky Dog Dreams

We walked, eyes wide open into the vast space,
You stand aware of each breath of wind,
Each voice hidden in tiny spaces, searching the day,
Trespassing through the rose bushes, catching scents,
You stand aware of each breath of wind.

Ears perked, listening to the whispers of the frog,
Head cocks to watch the flame-like leaf swirl,
Fluttering downward, catching a breath, twirling,
It lands in the lifeless bed, flames laying down to ash,
You stand aware of each breath of wind.

Wings flutter past, catching your wide open eyes,
You spring forth, the excitement welling up, eager,
The bird dances in the air above, only to land beyond,
Beyond the length of your leash, just beyond hope,
You stand aware of each breath of wind.

Moments of Guidance, reminders of all that is close,
Excitement burns within your soul, eager to see,
With eyes wide open, to see the Freedom of nature,
Desire burning within to chase after rabbit scents,
You stand aware of each breath of wind.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I am linking this post, to One Single Impression for the inspirational thoughts on the Freedom of nature, to Sunday Scribblings for prompt #244: Guidance and to Jingle Poetry for this weeks Poetry Potluck Monday the topic being: Dreams, Visions and Reverie.  Connect to these links to see other takes on the prompts.

A Linguering Kiss

Over at One Stop Poetry today, there is an interview of Texas photographer  Lisa Michelle Arhontidis and the photo for today's One Shoot Sunday was provided by her.  Please check out these sites for more exciting photography and for other writer's takes on this wonderful photo.

photo by Lisa Michelle Arhontidis

A Linguering Kiss

His lips trace, a kiss linguers on her neck,
Fills her with his love, his passion for her...
Hers, loving ebb, wells to meet him halfway,
Bridging the space between us, him and her.

Passions become one, united in love,
Tender moments, lost gaps between the two,
Each feeling, knowing together is US,
Feeling us, being forever in love.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Promised Forever

This piece is a bit on the dark side, inspired by domestic abuse and my reading a post by another on this topic.  Please if you know anyone going through this awful situation, do anything you can to offer a glimmer of hope.

Promised Forever

Promised forever, til death do us part,
Precious children, bestowed upon their care,
Difficulties there, all right from the start,
Illness progress, with no one could she share.

Quietly stealing, a thief in the night,
Ravaging, raping, her body and soul,
Stealing for himself, her God given right,
Year after year, all this taking its toll.

Hands clasp tight on her throat, stopping her breath,
Screams interrupted, the young child would hear,
Her, him, you two, me... tonight will be death,
Silver glimmers in light,,, the end is near.

Promised forever, til death do us part,
Illness progressing, all right from the start.

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I am linking this poem over on One Shot Wednesday hosted every Wednesday by One Stop Poetry.  If you would like to read others poetry, stop on by for some great writes.

Word Shadows

Elusive shadows
Thoughts banter within my soul
Waiting to be penned

Creative Writing Ink

Footprints in the sand
As elusive as the words
Floating from my heart

Petrina Lesko
December 2010

I am linking this post both to Creative Writing Ink  for this weeks photo prompt and to One Shot Wednesday

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Plays

Winter Plays

The bitter cold blankets in purity,
Standing tall, arms reaching to catch snowflakes,
Moisture fills your lungs, billows of breaths rise,
Earth, air, water melding in harmony.

Snow-angels left, the passerby to see,
Pathways walked showing the winding it takes,
The whiteness in melodic form to skies,
Winter's sweet prayers here in unity.

Pure innocence laughs as it plays to thee,
The man made by young ones stacked up like cakes,
Black hat, a pipe in his mouth, charcoal eyes,
Gratitude sways, sounds of a symphony.

Out in this wonderland for all to be,
Dancing across the frozen tablet lakes,
Words, thoughts, dreamers here forever to rise,
Curtain call comes, the skies become sunny.

Petrina Lesko
November 2010

I will be linking this to a few places where I like to share with other writers... first would be Jingle Poetry for their Potluck Poetry Monday where this weeks theme is Nature: Plants, Creatures and the Cosmos.  Next would be over at One Single Impression for prompt 144: Meld and last but not least to Writer's Island for their prompt this week of Gratitude.  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and those here in the States, a wonderful Thanksgiving.

This Thing, the Depression

What was this thing called the Great Depression,
Was it 'Black Tuesday' and the 'Market Crash',
Was it when the banks closed by recession,
Was it the dry wind storms coming to bash?

Was it the farmers unable to yield,
Their fields dried by the wind, no crops to tend,
No food for the children, no gifts to wield,
For a thousand one job, the days to mend.

Starkness left, was it the blank hungry stares,
Of those children dirty left to the streets,
Their baskets empty, no food and no wares,
Chased down by police out walking their beats.

To promised lands many peoples did go,
Then shantytowns built, people struggling so.

One Shoot Sunday *
poem written by
Petrina Lesko
November 2010

This poem was inspired by the photo over at One Shoot Sunday where you can also find others inspired by this photo as well.

About the Photo: Depression Era Childhood Faces (St. Louis, Missouri)
*image care of creative commons flickr:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cup Runs Over

Magpie #42

My cup runs over,
Precious moments spilling love,
Friends... Family... You.

I have thought long and hard this week, reminiscing of the many wonderful Thanksgiving days I've had throughout my life.  Most have run over with family and friends, a few spent quietly with only a few... some by choice, some by circumstance.  All have been filled with the Thankfulness I feel for the precious gifts bestowed upon me in the people I have been blessed to have in my life.  Thank you all for being a part of this special day.

I am linking this post both to Magpie Tales for this wonderful picture prompt #42.
I hope everyone enjoys this day in the company of those they love and being thankful for all the blessings in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Endless Beauty

Over at One Stop Poetry they are highlighting interviews of some amazing photographers, and allowing us to use the selected photo as a poetry prompt on One Shoot Sunday.  This week the photographer is Trent Chau.  Do stop by to explore more of his amazing world.  Here was this week's prompt...

photographer:  Trent Chau

Endless Beauty

Red crevassed walls reaching upward,
Reaching to blend with the hazy blue skies,
Endless is the beauty of you.

Blue and white waters meander onward,
Reaching to blend with the ends of time,
Endless is the beauty of you.

How, in so many billions of years,
Could the river of your bellows carve this?
This endless beauty of you.

Hard rock walls, penetrated by the flow,
Forever, the impudence of  majestic glory,
Endless is the beauty of you.

Petrina Lesko
November 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

It was only yesterday when...
I in the wonder of a small child,
Expected and needed all from you,
My world lost between free and wild,
Hoping for the safe haven provided too...

Yet today, another story then,
Awed by the wonders of the world,
Not needing anyone to provide for me,
All night spent dancing... by another twirled,
The sunrise coming so I'm going out to the sea...

It was only yesterday when...
I toiled the day, working hard for you,
Top in my field, marking my way in time,
Awards and ribbons given, and salaries too,
My world moving well, it was becoming sublime...

Yet today, another story then...
Times have changed, things are tough,
The Recession hit, jobs lost, money's low,
The rent is due, the work is none, sure is rough,
What of the world is left, what do we have to show?..

It was only yesterday when...
Unemployed people, parents too,
Struggling to feed and shelter the kids,
'They' say the Recession has ended, overdue,
But it doesn't seem better to me, jobs still up for bids...

Yet today, another story then...
Yesterday we met, interviewed too,
You liked my history and experience thru,
Hired me on the spot, my world turned by you,
Today I start my new job, dedicated, loyal and true...

It was only yesterday when...
I was hungry, four days not a meal,
The rent was paid, but lights out and cold,
Holidays coming, no gifts for the kids, my deal,
Just a little bit longer, hang on, be strong, this I was told...

Yet today, another story then...
As I talked, my troubles I did tell,
You listened, then disappeared tonight,
A few friends spoken to, and together well,
You brought to my door, food, gifts, and a little light...

For in this world of yesterdays...
All was difficult, something needed, this is true,
The world of todays, people offered, made the breaks,
By offering the hand, the job, the lesson, and friendship too,
For when peerless to help others, What a Difference a Day Makes...

Petrina Lesko
November 2010

Yet another post inspired by some of the many wonderful prompts found here in Blogland.  This one was inspired by Sunday Scribblings and this weeks prompt of What a Difference a Day Makes, as well as by the Writer's Island prompt of Peerless, prompt #30 for 2010.  You can visit either of these sites by clicking on their titles if you would like to read other responses by other writers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tribuatry of Time

Saturn looks down, as did his father,
To the goddess of earth, his mother be,
Magpie prompt #41
Duo swords crossed, one at guard,
To protect the midnight hour three.

Through wedded bliss did sky and earth,
Born to Uranus and Gaia, thier son was he,
But bliss turned violent, and separate now,
The skies and earth apart, bound only by thee.

Gloom and serious, descriptors of this god,
Referred as 'old Father Time', must he be,
Father to Air, to Water, to Death  was this god,
For always apart, yet Time cannot kill these three.

Roman memories of Gods and Time,
Numerals strong, stone tributary this be,
Duo swords crossed, one at guard,
To protect the midnight hour three.

Once again, inspired by Willow over at Magpie Tales, #41 from this weeks prompt... Please take a moment to check out the other responses there.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help Me

I've posted this poem once before not too long after I started blogging, so those that have been following me since then, please bear with the repeat.  I thought this would be a good poem to share over at One Shot Wednesday so I hope you don't mind my posting it one more time.

Even though this poem was inspired years ago by the residents that I work with, for me, I am constantly reminded of how fresh it always remains as we try to teach the skills they may need in life or in work.  I am also a firm believer that it applies to all of us in some aspect or another.  Hope you all enjoy...

Help Me

What's that? You say you want to help me,
Great, because honestly, I don't know how...

Stand back, watch...okay...but wait...we're done?
How... I didn't get to do anything...

I thought you said you wanted to help,
You did? But you don't understand what I meant...

"I don't know how" does not mean "I can't,"
It simply means that I never learned this...

To help me would be to teach me how,
I need to know all that I am capable of...

Take my hands in yours and guide me,
Step by step, I can learn how to do things...

Sometimes, I may get impatient with myself,
Or you... but I need your understanding...

Sometimes, I may want to quit trying,
But I need your belief in my ability to learn...

What's that? You say you want to help me,
Please then, show me how to do it for myself.

Petrina Lesko
June 1987

Monday, November 15, 2010

Images of Happiness

The theme for this weeks prompt for Poetry Potluck Monday was Moods, Feelings and Emotions.  I have thought about the miriad of emotions that could be covered and came up with this short poem, a haiku on happiness...

Images of Happiness

Fluttering butterfly wings in the breeze,
Polinating flowers for the birth of new blossoms,
Timid smiles bursting with colors of joy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Your Life or Mine?

I am linking the following post over at One Shoot Sunday for this is where the photos and inspiration came from, today's topic was Homelessness.  Then I am linking to Potluck Poetry Monday  because homelessness definitely stirs within me, many emotions and moods.  Does it do the same for you?

Your Life or Mine?

Was it yesterday when you walked on past, 
Your friend whispered in your ear, just aghast.
Seeing his cart filled with all things his life,
Not even caring what suffered,  what strife.

Yet from the ivory tower window,
Delicate linens, doilies do you sew.
Judging each man for his things he does own,
More than clothes on his back, how was he grown?

You have your tower, inside warm and true,
No guarantees this life, this could be you.
When suddenly fate does deal, everything lost,
But to change this life away, would it cost.

Have you ever looked within yourself to see,
If life dealt this hand to you, would you be.
Strong to stand against this adversity,
Or would you cry the night away hungry?

Cardboard shelters we do show on this lane,
But hidden deep within our soul lies pain.
Had a life of towers too, just like you,
But fate played a joke, nothing I could do.

I live in the alley behind your house,
Try to be quiet, you think I'm a louse.
Yet what I search for here is a life too,
For once a person, I was there like you.

Now I only need a chance given here,
Everyday touches my heart, sometimes a tear.
Hoping one day the tower mine might be,
Warm days, food, just a little dignity.

For just as this strife, yours it could be too,
The stories you tell, whispers be about you.
My dreams could come true, an ivory tower,
If my heart just holds, change given power.

Yet for just as this strife, yours it could be,
Your life, your job, oh yes, mine it could be!

Petrina Lesko
November 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jack's Gremlins.... Part 6

Finally back to my tale of Jack and his family...  Sorry for the delay, life was a bit overwhelming, quite a bit busy throughout all of October.  Hopefully you all remember the storyline (you can find links to the other, previous parts on the right hand side of my blog page).  And, as usual, I am linking this part of the tale to Magpie Tales hosted by the lovely Willow.  This weeks photo prompt #40 is shown here.  You can also explore poetry and tales by other spectacular writers just by following the links from there.  Again, thank you to all of my readers for patiently awaiting this next section.  Hope you enjoy...

Magpie Tales #40
'Pops, it's beautiful... but what is this monkey thing?' I asked.  'Well sweetie, it's the mighty monkey deity in the Indie religious beliefs.  Its called the Hanuman,' answered Pops.  'It's believed that if you recite the Hanuman Mantra, that it helps in overcoming fear... it is also believed one will be blessed with courage and wisdom.'  'Where did it come from Pops?  Why did Mom have it?,' I asked.  'Because your Uncle Jack gave it to her when she was in high school.  He was doing a history project, and in his research he came across this and thought your mother would really like it.'  'Wow, the stones are beautiful, and the story about the monkey god thing is wonderful.  Didn't she like it?'  'Yes, she just felt it was too large to wear, the shield thing, so she was going to hang it in here on the wall.  She had gotten the material to use as a backdrop.  You know, one of the projects that she never quite finished.... maybe we could finish it for her, together.  What do you think?'  'Oh Pops, I would love to work on it with you.  What was she going to put it in or on, to display it?,' I asked.  'I'm not sure, but I'm sure if we keep our eyes open when we go shopping, we could find just the right frame,' Pops said as he looked at his watch.  'How about I go down and make some dinner and check on your brother.  You put all this stuff up and then come down and get washed up.' he said as he stood up and headed for the stairs.  'Okay Pops, I'll be down in just a few minutes....'

When I was walking down the stairs, I could smell the chicken baking... I knew I better hurry, it must have taken me a while to put the albums back and put the cloth with the necklace back in the box.  I made sure I had wrapped it gently around the stones and the shield, just like Mom had left it, but then placed the box on her desk, so when we got the frame we could find it easily.  I rushed into the bathroom and washed up for dinner, then as I was walking down the hallway past Jack's room, I saw him playing on the floor with Toby.  'Come on Jack, smells like dinner is almost ready.  Let's get you washed up so we can eat,' I said as I entered his room.  Toby jumped up, her toenails clicking on the wooden floors, and meandered over to the top of the stairs, looking back toward the doorway.  Jack got up from the floor and we went into the bathroom and I turned on the water for him.  He put his small hands under the water and I reminded him to use the soap.  I could hear Pops calling, 'Jack, dinner time, can you tell your sister it's ready?'  I poked my head out of the bathroom, 'We were just getting washed up, be right down.'  Jack rinsed the soap from his hands and turned off the water as I handed him the small towel from the bar.  Jack wiped his hands and dropped the towel on the sink and raced for the stairs.  I folded the towel and placed it back on the bar on the wall.

When I got down to the kitchen, Jack and Pops were already sitting at the table, waiting for me to catch up.  I sat down and we began to eat our meal, chicken, baked potatoes, dressing and corn.  The smells from the food were wafting throughout the kitchen, and something else, apples or something.  Jack was eating his chicken leg and asked, 'What's for desert Pops?' a smile beaming across his face.  Pops answered, 'Well, when your Uncle Howard came by this morning, he left us an apple pie.  Said him and Jack picked them fresh from their tree. I thought you might...'  'Oh boy, apple pie is my favorite!  Can I have some now?' beamed Jack.  I reminded him, 'I think you need to finish your food first.'  Pops continued my answer saying, 'It'll take a bit for it to cook, so maybe after your bath tonight.'  You could see the smile drain from Jack's face and his lower lip sticking out as he pouted.  Pops turned to me, 'Sweetie, I was thinking about the Hanuman necklace.  What do you think if we did some checking into and maybe we could find the Mantra and somehow put it with the necklace in the frame?...'  Jack interrupted, 'What's the mantra and the hanu...?'  'Okay,' I answered, 'or maybe we could ask Uncle Jack about it.  Maybe he would know where to find one.'  Pops answered, 'That's a really good idea.  He's coming for dinner with your Uncle Howard tomorrow, maybe you could ask him then.'  Jack again asked, 'What's the hanum?'  Pops turned to Jack and explained that it was a monkey god and that Uncle Jack had given a necklace with it on it to Mom.  'Can I see it sometime?  Are you sure the apple pie isn't ready yet?'  Pops answered him, 'No, about another 20 minutes, how about we go get your bath done and then you can have your apple pie... Are you finished with your dinner?'  Jack jumped up from the table and raced up the stairs ahead of Pops.  I sat quietly finishing my dinner thinking about the necklace, thinking about Uncle Jack giving it to Mom...  I wondered about Uncle Jack, if he was always so serious, if Pops didn't want him around us without someone else, 'an adult' around, why did he do things like giving Mom the necklace?  He seemed pretty nice, okay I mean, when he brought Jack the collection of leaves and stuff at the hospital.  I wondered...

I got up from the table and started clearing the dishes into the sink.  I filled it with soapy water and started washing them, when I heard Pops and Jack walking back down the stairs.  'Is it ready, is it ready?' Jack asked as they rounded the doorway into the kitchen.  Pops answered, 'I think it probably is, let me just check it.'  Pops opened the oven, grabbed the potholders and lifted the pie out setting it on the stove.  Pops pulled down three smaller plates as Jack pulled forks from the drawer for all of us and jumped into his chair, that big old smile stretched across his face, 'Is it ready?'  'Honey, why don't you come have some pie, then we can finish the dishes.'  Pops placed the first plate with pie in front of Jack, reminding him that it would be hot.  We all sat quietly savoring the flavors of the pie, the apples still slightly crisp, a hint of cinnamon in the crust.  After we all finished, Pops went up with Jack to tuck him into bed and I finished up washing the last of the dishes.  Then I went up to my room to get ready for bed, I was pretty tired after spending most all of the day sifting through all the wonderful crafts and albums still up in Mom's space.  As I layed down on the bed, pulling the covers up, Pops poked his head in the doorway and said, 'Goodnight sweetie.  See you in the morning.'  I layed in the darkness, listening, thinking until I slowly drifted off to dreamland....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elusive Remains...

This poem has been wanting to be written for a very long time.  Recently I was a little closer to a situation that hit hard on my heart, making fresh old memories in time, probably freeing the words from deep within my being.

Elusive Remains...

Somewhere in the darkness of the night,
Should I answer, could this be the day,
That wonderful day when you just might,
Might be standing beyond the doorway...

The phone ringing, please let it be you,
'Unknown Caller' across the display,
My heart  in my throat, skips a beat too,
If only someone, somewhere would say...

The news that you have been waiting for,
I called, saw him earlier today,
It was here in town, down by the store,
He asked to see you, if not he may...

Elusive remains, mysteries too,
What happened on that long ago day,
Everyone searching, looking for you,
At a distance, I guess you must stay...

One day, somewhere in time, I will know,
Whether or not, that you are okay,
For now my heart breaks, I can not show,
Always to wonder, where do you lay...

Hoping and praying, this I must do,
Searching myself to find a new way,
Wondering always, could that be you,
Beheld in my heart, always this day.

Petrina Lesko
November 2010

 I am linking this poem to One Shot Wednesday - week 19. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Fortress

She wandered the forest trail, searching to find,
Wood branches, boulders, exactly the kind.
The one piece to fit what she had in mind,
The structure was strong, with mortice did bind.

Years of placing each stone within its wall,
Planning with care, never these stones to fall.
With mortice and wood, each piece be to all,
Boards carried the weight, the burden was tall.

To shores she did travel, ends of the earth,
In search of those bigger, a stronger worth,
Carry the load, held...  to measure the girth,
Placed the last boulder, filling her with mirth.

Her fortress was strong, now safe she would be,
Hidden from the world, where no one could see.
Safe beyond her walls, a solace  for she,
No harm penetrates, held away from thee.

Close to her fortress, always did she stay,
Alone in her world, the pain could not play.
Yet loneliness engulfed her all of the day,
And down on her knees fell her soul to pray.

Then as she began to wander from here,
Searching the world, something to hold dear.
Her being still frail, her heart filled with fear,
Into the fortress, you dared to come near.

You took her hand, led her away from there,
A whole new world, beautiful, you did share.
These walls her fortress be, down you would tear,
For in her heart, you shared love and then care.

To shores she does travel, ends of the earth,
In search of those better, a stronger worth,
Carry the load, held... allow her rebirth,
Replaced solitude, filling up her dearth.

With her you share because you are her friend,
The fortress is gone, love her way did send.
She wanders the forest trails, around the bend,
This tale does she tell, and now it is penned.

I am linking this poem to Jingle Poetry - Poetry Potluck Monday.  This weeks topic was Buildings, Landmarks and Monuments.

PS... I am going to also link this poem with One Shot Wednesday.  Hope everyone enjoys.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflecting the Soul

Sometimes, when the everyday pace of this world
Becomes more than one can bear, the friction
Fighting within ones being, the friction growing
Like a weed in the garden, overtaking the soul.

One must pause for a few reflective moments,
Looking within the mirrors of our being, just
For a slight pause of silence, to see the ripples
Growing larger, encompassing our being too.

As the ripples disipate within these moments,
Looking to the depths of our soul, searching
For answers not seen as the world whips by
On the winds of our days, we must rest here.

Taking time to reflect on all that fills our days,
Assessing if these days flying by our being,
Are they truly filled with what our heart desires?
Moving in the direction of winds giving flight.

Or do we need to let our soul take heed,
Listening to the friction and the pause now,
Do we need to let the ripples lead our soul
In a new and exciting direction finding peace.

A new seed planted, tears of days gone by,
Weathered by the seasons, nurtured by one
Heart, grow into the blossom of days to come,
To flourish within the ripples reflecting the soul.

This post was written in response to a couple of weekly prompts, the first being #240 - Friction todays prompt over at Sunday Scribblings and the second was Prompt 141: Pause over at One Single Impression.  I hope you enjoyed this post.

This Moment in Time - One Shoot Sunday

 The following poem was inspired by the photo prompt found on One Shoot Sunday  today over at One Stop Poetry.  Hope you enjoy.

This Moment in Time

Clouds gliding across the soft lit skies,
Biases joining on the quilts of time,
Tenderly seeking the intimacy beyond,
The skies dressed in pillow covers.

She drifts into her dreams left here,
His sloop beyond the horizon floats,
The ebb of the tides, the storm, the night,
The outstretched arms of passion await.

The sea connecting each to the other,
Gently caressing from beneath her,
The waves pounding over the hull,
Separated, yet one, by this moment in time.

Ilachinski Skies of Skye
You can see more photographs by Andy Ilachinski at his gallery at  http://www.sudden-stillness.com/  or check out his blog at http://tao-of-digital-photography.blogspot.com/.  He is featured and interviewed today on One Shoot SundayOne Stop Poetry.  To read other responses to this photo prompt by some fabulous poets click here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Identity Crisis

Watching me watch you,
Fishbowl feeling how?

Magpie Tales #39

Just love the interpretation of facial expressions...    For other cute takes on this wonderful photo prompt, check out  Magpie Tales hosted by Willow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dampened by Autumn Tears

The following poem was written for my first attempt at One Shot Wednesday Week 18.

Dampened by Autumn Tears

The season before us, its aquiescence to decree,
Colorful explosion of burning leaves,
Only to fall laden upon the earth.
Time a labyrinth of days dampened by autumn tears,
Eyes eager to fall upon the Hinterland trails.

The tides faintly disturbing the still silence of the night,
Like falling ashes does the darkness come,
Seeking the saltry dance upon the shore.
Riverbeds pulsing like veins within the arid land,
Ears struggling to find solace in your rhythmic heart.

Yet can a soul to hibernation flee away from pain,
Before ones losses of these days dost count,
Upon life's journey, this soul could be lost.
Stillness encumbers the time and space of my being,
To my heart my friends did come, within me lies hope.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What be the Words

What be this life succumbed
By the harshness of seasons past,
Beheld in hearts not forgotten.

This day but a distant thought,
Muddled memories in the halls of time,
The stone tributary left.

Times natural erosion
Fractures the stone faced memoirs,
Etched with the counting of days.

But what be the words still
To echo from the heavens in prose,
Laid upon the hearts of babes.

Yet to wonder what meaning dost hold
Within the soul of this one lost,
Brought forth to light the hereafter.

Magpie Tales #38

I have linked this post to Magpie Tales photo prompt #38.  Once again, thank you Willow for this wonderful venue given to us writers to share in.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Romantic Nights

The dark star-filled skies
Moonbeams dancing on the waves
Caressing the shore.

I am linking this post to Jingle Poetry - Monday Poetry Potluck.   Enjoy all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Ode to You, my Readers, my Followers, my Friends

I thought it was time to reflect a little on my journey here in blogland.  When I started my blog, I wasn't even sure that it would be able to provide that unknown something that I had been searching for....   Just a few short months ago, I had found myself in a vast space of creative nothingness, much like canyon depths.  Beautiful though they may be, standing somewhere down along the trail, the entire world an insurmountable canyon wall above as it rose toward the expansiveness of an endless cloud covered sky. The clouds seemed dark, readying themselves for the new season of rain and rebirth, bringing the much needed rest cycle after the bathing away of the summer's heat, the silken black ashes of fires sparked by man's careless squandering of the nature around him.

I felt that the creative area of my mind was rumpled and cluttered with the many things we call life...  stifled by the boxes, the memories, the items new and old that filled the space as I searched for that 'something' that would free my creative energies.  Portions of my everyday world seemed clean and crisp, yet like an unmade bed, memories framed there resting, while sorting out the boxes full of treasures of days past....

Magpie Tales

As I stated, I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for, I wasn't sure if this path would lead me to a destination that I would be happy with....  I did know this would be a journey I was familiar with portions of, travelled years ago when my mind was less cluttered, less confined by the stresses and responsibilities of my life, my world as it exists today.  I did know that I needed to find something to aid me in freeing my inner self of the constant barrage that was happening.

I approached this new endeavor, this new trail cautiously, and with some reluctance.  In years past, my 'writings' whether they be poetry or stories, have only been sparsely shared with even those people closest to me.  Back when I was young, I found a desire for creating tales, sketched out by the placing of words on the pad, adjusting to fit the picture in my mind.  Though the people around me were encouraging about my ability to create, they were very discouraging about it even being a possibility of filling any portion of my life other than as a hobby.  The 'starving artist' point of view was instilled in me, so strongly, as the only path that could be envisioned because of the many years of hard work this world entailed before one could see any recognition. 

Thus, most of the work I have done over the years, the creations, have blown away in the winds of time, much like loose pages stacked on a table as the cool breeze lifts. The pages rising in the air finding the breeze and wafting off into the vast nothingness of time unrecorded.  The few pieces that I do still have in a collection were mostly written to or for specific people, thereby having more sentimental value than a created picture of doodling.  Or, the few pieces that have been written since I have found an appreciation of holding on to, and then going back later to dabble with.  Those few pieces also came later as life in its overwhelming time-filled glory which allowed for only rare efforts.

The small collection has only been shared with a select few people, until more recent years in which several have been 'published' in a variety of venues... anthologies, newsletters, plaques on friends walls... Probably due to the influences when I was young, all also 'publicly' shared in the hopes of being done so as 'anonymous'....  I have always, in so many areas of my life, chosen to have my efforts stand for the effort, and its importance, rather than as something I needed to be acknowledged for.  Needless to say, this venture in blogland, this journey that I have chosen to participate in, well, posed a variety of conflicts.  I wanted to relight the embers that burn deep within my being, deep within my mind, allowing the flames of creation to burn again, creating a light, a warmth within my world.  I was hoping that this venue would give me a place to do that.  But I honestly had many doubts as to whether this venue could provide that for me.  I wasn't sure if I would be writing the post-experience tale of my everyday life, poetry, short stories...  I wasn't sure if I would be writing just for myself and an anonymous world of technology, or if I would eventually share any of this with those people in my day to day world.

What I have found along this short journey... was encouragement.  What I found was people, other writers, fellow bloggers, interested in taking a moment of their day, to stop and visit with me by reading, commenting, following the posts that fill these pages.  What I found were people inquisitive of the next verse, the next installment in a tale.  What I found was the embers becoming flames of my passion.  What I found were free-flowing thoughts, phrases, sparks blending together into tales.  What I found was the vast space of creative nothingness was filling with thoughts, tales, prose just as the dry riverbed of the canyon would fill with the flow of water after the autumn rains that moisten and replenish the arid land around it.  What I found was the emergence of that passion deep within my soul that yearns for a venue to share my words with the world, with my friends, and now with my fellow bloggers who read, comment, and sometimes follow.  What I found was an endless flow of thoughts yearning to be penned, sometimes even coming in the most stressful of moments when before I could only focus on the stress of the immediate moment. 

Over the years of my life, I have endured many losses, many trials, many times when I needed guidance, support, someone to believe in me.  I have been fortunate enough to know some really special people who have a way of touching those around them in a very profound manner.  These few people I have considered 'mentors' guiding my world, my being by example of who they are.  Here in blogland, I also found that these anonymous people who cross my path - also can be mentors, guiding, challenging my passion with their skills, with their way with words, with their support, and by simply taking the time to stop by and acknowledging that I am here, believing that my writing is sometimes worth coming back to for a second look.

Simply stated, to you my readers, my commenters, my followers, especially my first follower (you know who you are)...  My heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking the time to stop, for taking the time and effort to get to know a little of this passion, for getting to know a little of me.  I truly appreciate your support and encouragement in making this journey a positive one for me.    And to you my friends from my everyday life who have responded and followed me here, thank you for getting to know this other side of me that sat dormant for such a long time.

Thank you all for taking time to visit here.

I am linking this post to both Magpie Tales photo prompt #37 and to Writer's Island prompt #26 for 2010: Emerge.  Again, thank you all for stopping by to visit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reflections and Sillhoettes

The following poem was prompted by both the photo prompt #37 of Willow at her Magpie Tales and by the Sunday Scribblings prompt #237 Harvest...   I hope you enjoy my interpretation of these.  To read others click on the links.

Soaking and sloshing, the essence of a new day.
As white and crisp as a child's innocence.
Forming reflections of the latest of seasons.

Magpie Tales #37

The rain rinses the branches bare of its leaves.
Harvested, the stark nakedness in silhouettes.
Settling delicately into the winter bed.

Youthful Tales

Magpie Tales #37

Snowlike mountain peaks
Mirrored tales reflect wishes
Youthful innocence

I have linked this post to Magpie Tales inspired by the above photo prompt.  You can go there to see other writers' take on the same prompt.  Some of the best I have seen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jack's Gremlins.... Part 5

I am again linking this post to several sites, the first being Magpie Tales photo prompt #36 by Willow and the second being Writer's Island #25 for 2010: Unleash.  I have also included the picture from the Writer's Island prompt by the Spanish artist, Silvia.  (You can click here to see her other works.)  Lastly, I have also linked to Sunday Scribblings for prompt #237: Harvest.   I hope you enjoy this next installment.  For those of you new to my blog, you can go back and find the prior parts of this story.

As I approached the top of the stairs leading to the area we now called the attic, the space was dark except for the light from the hallway at the bottom of the stairs.   This was the area we used to store things; many of Mom's special possessions, here in her space that Pops had designed for her to be 'creative'.  This used to be her office, if you will, where she could write, paint, sew, or do whatever creative project struck her fancy for that week.... Or as it became, just her quiet space to go unwind, delving into the latest novel or autobiography that she happened to be reading.   We all knew not to interrupt, just give her a little time and she would return downstairs to our world.  Sometimes, when she was creating, rather than reading or writing, she would let Jack and/or I come up with her, as long as we were quiet, being careful not to interrupt her ‘focus’ so the finished project would be exactly what she wanted it to be.  And sometimes, she would find a simple project that we could help her with, like when she created pages for the albums, her ‘memory books’ that would forever hold the stories of our family.  I knew she had been creating the ‘memory books’ since she was about my age, and that I should be able to find some with Uncle Jack in them, at least from when they were all kids.

I paused at the top of the stairs, my hand resting on the hand-carved wooden rail that separated the space from the stairwell, giving my eyes a chance to adjust to the dim lighting. Searching my mind for the layout of the room, I remembered her desk space off to the left, the low shelves of her books along the wall beyond the desk and her big comfy brown leather chair. If I turned and followed the rail to the wall, I would bump into the many boxes of stuff that we have since stacked here, before the soft leather couch, along the wall, I needed to maneuver through the small area in the middle, careful not trip over any stray boxes that might be pulled down, careful not to bump into the expansive wooden coffee table that sat in front of the couch. If I did this, I should be able to make it over to the window, then search the carved wood of the panel to find the key… so I could ‘unleash’ the light from the morning sun into the space. As I got close to the far wall, I veered slightly to the left, smelling the scents of her perfume still lingering on the leather coat hanging there, the hanger dangling from the coat hooks along the upper part of the wall. I could feel the soft leather caress my arm as I passed, brushing gently against its space, then feeling the panel, finding the glass, moving to the right from there to the ribbed edge of the wood, and then drifting slightly upward to find the key in the lock, turning it gently until I heard the click. Then following the edge downward to the corner and tracing to the left to the ring used to pull open the window… As I stepped back, letting the window swing to my left, the light unleashed itself and filled the small space, creating a picture of its own, under the eaves, welcoming the day into the space, the daylight gently finding its way into the creative energy of the room.

Magpie Tales #36 photo prompt

Now if I moved along the wall to the right, I could find the other window, matching but in opposite form.  As I moved along the wooden paneling of the wall, I again came to the ribbed edge of the window panel, and in reverse traced to where the key was, gently turned until I heard the click, then again finding the ring at the bottom of the panel and pulled it open as well, letting it swing to the right.  Again the days sunlight unleashed itself into the other part of the room, gently making its way into the creative energy of the space, and coming to a rest on the brown leather couch along the other wall.  Now I could make out the tall shelves along the wall between this window and the couch.  The shelves where she kept the many ‘memory books’ all lined up in order as her life unfolded over the years.  I reached over, letting my fingers trace the spines of the albums, counting, skipping over the first couple of years.  I knew those were the ones she experimented with, and then finding the first of the ones she would pull to sit with Jack and I on the couch, laying them out on the wooden coffee table.  She would slowly go through the pages, letting us explore the pictures, the small papers filled with the words of her poems, the crafty little ‘art projects’ of paper, glitter, string… whatever items she felt would bring back the memory of events, days gone by, as she told us the stories of her childhood, her high school years, and how she met Pops when she was away at college. 

I set the album I had pulled from the shelves down on the wooden coffee table as Mom used to do, and glanced up to the painting on the wall above the couch… This experienced by me,  I drew from my own memories, a smile spreading across my face as I drifted to the day when Mom told me that her and I would be going to my first ‘Art Exhibit’ at a gallery.  There was a new Spanish artist, Silvia, whom had just unleashed a burning within Mom's heart, a love of her paintings, so much so, that Mom just had to have this one, entitled 'Lost Boat' for the wall here above the couch in her office.  Mom had said, ‘This artist, this painting unleashes so much creativity for me.’

'Lost Boat'  by Silvia

I too, found myself drawn in by the artist, unleashing a desire to add color to my simple drawings that I had been working on with Mom’s guidance, teaching if you will, and how to create depth to my one-dimensional pictures that I brought home from art class.  My teacher had always been happy with my work, but Mom knew, inside me there was always a feeling of something missing from them.  So we would then work together, here in her office, her showing me how to add that missing color, or depth or…  All of the things I still needed to learn about art, but that my ‘grade level’ hadn’t yet covered in my classes.

I sat down on the couch and gently opened the album that rest on the expansive wooden table, slowly flipping through the first few pages of memories. These were still the pages fairly early, of the fun times Mom, Jack and Howard had during there summers here in this house. In the album were pictures of them playing on the banks of the creek, stickers from the high school carnival and parties with them celebrating birthdays with their friends and family. As I glanced through, it struck me that all the photos of Uncle Jack, even though they were at parties, or the carnival, he looked so serious. His face drawn, his eyes seemed dull… Until I reached the page entitled ‘Harvest’. Various colored leaves, including the Princeton Sentry and the Maple, were scattered around the page. Just under the bright orange title at the top of the page, was a picture of Uncle Jack holding his ‘harvest’ of a very large pumpkin, both arms bowed at full length wrapped around cradling it, and a huge smile stretched across his face, almost ear to ear. Then just below it on a small piece of cream colored parchment paper, the following poem scrawled in rough, handwriting,

Harvest Time

Autumn full color,
Orange pumpkins, fields of wheat,
Season of my heart.

Sitting there for a moment, I tried to digest the words, the picture, looking for some understanding of this gruff, anxious man whom Uncle Howard had brought with to see Jack at the hospital yesterday.  I tried to grasp, understand… why had we seen, heard, so little of him if he was our other uncle?  Uncle Howard had always been such a big part of our lives, always over to see us, spending time playing games, watching movies, picnicking with us in the back yard.  I wondered, if at the very least, why had we never really heard Mom or Pops, or Uncle Howard even, speak of him in their stories.  I thought I remembered seeing him at the hospital after the accident, his head and face wrapped in the white gauze… I thought I remembered them going to the airport to pick him up and the accident happening on the way back to our house.  I thought I remembered being told that he was going to live with Grandma and Grandpa so they could take care of him, just as we had Uncle Howard, so they both could get better, get strong enough to take care of themselves.  I looked back down at the page and again read the poem and looked at the smile stretching across the picture. 

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sounds of voices coming from the yard. I got up from the couch and moved over to the open window near the leather coat hanging by the wall. Looking out, I could see that it was Pops, standing near the edge of the forest, talking with Uncle Jack. I could see Jack sitting on the ground beyond Uncle Jack playing with a small long-haired dog, its fur black covering its head, then going to white over the rest of its body. And then I heard Uncle Jack tell Pops, ‘His name is Lyn… he’s a Shih-Tzu, Lyn being short for Lyndon B. Johnson. I named him for the thirty-sixth president who completed Kennedy’s term of office after his assassination, and then was re-elected in 1964.’

Toby popped over the tall grasses out from the darkness of the forest, followed by Gremby and Uncle Howard. Gremby is short for Grembolait, just as Uncle Howard had called his mom’s Crème Brulee. Being a Lhasa Apso, as is typical, his fur is the creamy light brown with the reddish brown splotches of tufts poking through, the same creamy light brown of the custard his mom always served over peaches when he was young. Grembolait was his favorite desert, she would specially make it for him on days when he did particularly well on a book report or on his spelling test when he was little, maybe around Jack’s age.

Uncle Jack asked his voice still gruff, ‘Jack has your dad here, taught you anything yet about our great Presidents?’ ‘No sir,’ I heard Jack say as he stood up and moved over behind Pops, grabbing on to his pant leg. Uncle Jack continued, ‘It’s important that you learn about history. You should ask him to tell you some of the stories, some of the history of our great country…’

My thoughts searched my social studies lessons, trying to remember what I had learned of this Lyndon B. Johnson. I remembered learning about the assassination of Kennedy, and learning he was one of the best presidents we have ever had, but all that I could remember about Johnson was the Vietnam War. I remembered Mom and Pops telling me how horrible war was and that many innocent people died or are injured and it forever changes their lives. I looked back down to the yard, again listening, now seeing only Pops and Uncle Jack there. Uncle Jack was moving around, pacing with those same jerking movements I saw when we were at the hospital. Pacing, cigarette in hand, smoke billowing from his nostrils as it had at the hospital. Then I heard Pops, his voice angry, telling him, ‘I told you, you are only welcome here if an adult is here. I don’t want you around the kids by yourself. If you can’t follow this, then stay away from my kids, or so help me…’ Pops turned, shaking his head as he walked toward the house and then out of my view. Uncle Jack stood there seeming to talk to himself for a few minutes, then I heard him whistle and saw Lyn and him disappear into the forest.