Memory City

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I spoke to you today, for a minute I believed you were still here,

the crisp air spread around me like a blanket of winter mornings.

The way you used to savour fresh air against your face and smile,

I can picture your eyes closed and mouth smiling on the promenade at Venice Beach,

Crisp waves hitting the rocks, I took a deep breath in as a whirlpool of

summer days ran through my mind.

 

I picked a flower for you today, yellow like the radiance you shone,

The scent of summers choosing a daisy or tulip to pick came racing back.

Exploring Ventura Boulevard, only returning home when dusk was falling.

Sitting on the wall outside my house when I was ten years old with the kids on the street,

Days of packing up the car going to beaches and parks entertained me and gave me moments to cherish and reminisce when adult responsibilities overwhelm me.

From kindergarten to middle school, all the way up to graduation, you guided me.

I can picture you collecting me from LAX, smile beaming, arms outstretched.

Thousands of passengers in the terminal became a blur,

I could see your smiling face and life was normal.

A book of crosswords makes me think of you, even better if it came with a free biro.

Your face would fixate on a clue, trying a letter at a time, then a cheer if it fitted.

A pot of tea by your side, almost like your side kick, the refreshing taste on your lips eased the anguish of not being able to finish a full page in your puzzle book.

Your chair was lined up with the gameshows on the television, remember the time my childhood dog started barking and you didn’t hear an answer from the quizmaster,

Oh, how that terrier scurried so fast her shadow caught up with her eventually.

As days turn into months, then it is years, photos turn into memories.

This sprawling metropolis is home to millions, I was fortunate to call it my home but now you lay in your eternal resting place and now I am lost.

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Happy Wedding Day

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“That’s the money shot, right there, freeze” roared Stephen, the over excited photographer.  “Freeze, just one more, your doing great” he exclaimed as he beamed with joy.  Genevieve posed gracefully and chuckled at the dirt on her €500 dress.  “I told you Mum”, “I told you something like this would feckin happen to me” she continued, as she looked at her mother Mary wiping away a tear.  “What the feck did you walk that way for Geenie?” snapped Mary.  “You spent a fortune on fake tan, false eyelashes and got your hair done, then you feckin well walk into a pile of crap” shouted Mary frothing at the mouth with anger, foam was now forming on her lips.  The rain clouds over Beaker park were opening, drizzle was spitting down on the wedding cortege.  Tempers were frayed from earlier in the morning, as Genevieve, a laid back and easy-going person by nature stayed silent to her highly strung and perfectionist mother. The wedding guests, many of them colleagues of Genevieve’s from the local hospital, the vicar, Shirley and the groom, Darryl, were seated in the marquee in the centre of the magnificent forest and Mary was not happy the wedding was running over time by fifteen minutes.

“This is like your communion day all over again” grinned Jane, the bridesmaid, Genevieve’s older sister as she calmed her mother down with a shot of whiskey from a hip flask that was in her bag.  “Mom, it’ll be okay, remember Geenie can look wonderful in a bin liner, she has the graceful elegance to wear anything” reassured Jane, stroking her mother’s hand.  “What happened on your communion day, do you mind me asking?” enquired Stephen.  “I skidded across the park in my lovely white frock while I was playing football with the lads” announced the bride-to-be.  “You always end up a state Geenie” snarled Mary shaking her head and throwing her hands up in the air with disappointment.

Stomping her foot and clearing her throat to get maximum volume, Genevieve bellowed “excuse me Mom, but just because I embarrass myself on big occasions doesn’t make me a failure.  I’ll have you know I performed CPR on a toddler in cardiac arrest last week on the ward, I sat with a woman for a full half hour on my lunch break listening to stories of her beloved husband  of fifty years who had just passed away, I gave a child a piggy back to ease their nerves about being in a hospital, so no Mom, I may not give you a picture perfect polaroid but that doesn’t give you the right to shake your head at me”.

“Ssssh, your making a scene” said Mary as she linked Genevieve to move her towards the path into the forest.  “Geenie, ignore her, focus on your big day, Daryll is waiting for you, you know Mom’s way, she says things, but she doesn’t mean them” comforted Jane.  Genevieve shrugged her shoulders as Jane linked her other arm.  The midday sun was now prevalent as the rain clouds moved out of the way to shine down on Genevieve Baxter, soon to be Genevieve Timball.

The Baxter women walked towards the rose bush that signals the start of the wedding walk into the marquee, the guests stood up as a violinist began playing Genevieve and Daryll’s favourite song, ‘What a wonderful world’.  Jane walked first down the aisle carrying a beautiful bouquet of lily’s, George Baxter’s favourite flower.  The patriarch of the family had passed away when the girls were young.  Mary and Genevieve walked down next.  Mary whispered into Genevieve’s ear, “Geenie, you look a right state”.  “Shut up Mom, I love you, but shup up” smiled Genevieve in a quiet voice through gritted teeth.  Mary nodded and gave her a wink as she handed her youngest daughter over to a beaming Daryll Timball.

Ms Hattie

 

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Meredith stared at the glistening and twinkling light display.  The crisp winter air was fresh on her face as she sipped a hot chocolate.  The Stars, Moon and Surprises Display was illuminating the town for one evening only and the people of Roseville were amazed at the spectacle.  Multi-coloured cotton ball string lighting hung from the tall evergreens that line the four avenues which meet at the town centre.

Bright yellow fluorescent lighting enveloped the gazebo in the town square, while blue fairy lights were fixed to railings in the park where Meredith was standing, admiring the beauty of sapphire, baby blue, royal blue, powder blue, light blue lights sparkling and dazzling in Roseville town park, adjacent to Ms Hattie, the town’s oldest resident, a strong oak tree that has stood the test of time and if she could talk, she would have an audience in awe of historic battles, weather patterns and how the town has developed over the last few centuries.

Meredith’s grandfather told her about how the big storm of 1901 could not flatten Ms Hattie, while adjoining trees were uprooted.  The summer of 1915 had a sweltering heatwave and Ms Hattie continued to grow tall while other trees withered.  She is an icon of the pretty five thousand resident town which Meredith is so proud of.  In the words of David Icke, “Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held it’s ground”.

Dream

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I am writing this to you today, my sweet child, on your birthday.

There are things I would like you to know when I must go away

Life, think of it just like the weather. Wet days we use an umbrella and put on a coat, some of us stay indoors until the rain passes,

Sunny days we put on sun hats, sun cream and mind our eyes with sunglasses.

My child, in life, tough days come and go, bright days come and go, people come and go

Remember to always have a goal, an aim, a dream.

Life will mould, bash, uplift, drag, stall, shock, hearten, strengthen, weaken you.

I hope you have more highs than falls.

I hope you show resilience and persistence but no gall.

Remember to always have a goal, an aim, a dream.