Fresh: 28th and Kingman by Piper Wood

28th and Kingman

The house was memorable; a postcard from your best friend.
Filled with laughs, jokes and thoughts of goodwill.
I remember.
I remember the side door that led to the crooked step.
And the Tupperware full of sugar cookies
that sat perpetually on the counter,
as if he was expecting a few dozen guests every day.
Maybe he was.

I remember the grand staircase that led to the second floor
with four rooms,
and a teal tiled bathroom that had a toothbrush for dentures.

I remember the winding cedar stairs that led to the attic
that was full of scares and secrets
and a newspaper from the day that NASA faked the moon landing.

He had a lot of rooms. There was a room of VHS tapes
where he had taped Lawrence Welk episodes over his home videos.

I remember the fresh pressed sunshine sheets
in the guest room that extended its hospitality to sepia toned wedding photos.
I remember The German sword from WWII
that served as a talking piece in a quiet room.

I remember the hollow hallway, and the way it shook when he coughed. And the bedroom across the hall where I pretended to be comfortable, and acted like I didn’t know my “Big Grandpa” was dwindling.

I remember esophageal cancer; an easy way to say
there wasn’t much time.

I remember the big, blue, rusted dumpster that hauled all of my memories
away.
That flattened the dog eared pages of the 26 encyclopedias.
I remember my stoic nine year old face, standing next to a cold, December grave.

I remember so easily giving up the home videos.

Now, I notice the new yellow door, and the shingles missing from the roof.
He would have climbed on the roof and fixed those.
I notice the new KIA, resting where a rusted out Spitfire used to sit.
I notice the new owner’s Asian relics that dot the yard,
and the fact that if I were to knock on the door tomorrow
and ask for a sugar cookie, they would probably look at me funny.

I remember I never had to ask.


Piper Wood lives in West Des Moines, Iowa and enjoys writing, playing rugby, and performing vocal jazz. She writes poetry inspired by nature, and the complexities of human emotion. She plans to minor in creative writing in college.

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