I press my ear to the wall.
The voices come muffled at first,
But if I listen closely,
Their love stories become clear.
The distant piano music always plays in the background,
But its song still has a story to tell.
Photographs hang from this old wall,
Frozen smiles where laughter’s echo lingers;
A feather-light finger touch caresses those tender faces.
I close my eyes and see more openly
As the wall fades away.
I reach, step, grasp, hold.
I hug every precious memory thread,
Knitting a fabric of a life that embraces me in return
As I sing along with the piano
And write rainbows onto black and white pages.
You see, yesterdays are all blended into today –
And I wonder what story my children will one day tell
Of my today in what becomes their yesterday’s room next door.
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As she joins her family, although the jovial talk, singing, and laughter ring true, an undercurrent of concern for those who don’t have it so good hangs in the back of Sarah’s mind. Jon, whose drug addiction has nearly broken his marriage; her aunt Anne who drinks too much; and a mysterious woman at the rest stop who has all the look of someone with her own sad history are the ghosts who haunt young Sarah. Their songs aren’t about decking the halls.
As she partakes in her grandma’s cake, Sarah stares at the empty chair at the head of the table. Grandpa haunts the space across the distance of time. He picks up his cup of coffee and makes cheers toward Sarah.
Go knock ‘em dead, kiddo.
Sarah chokes down a mouthful of cake, washes it down with coffee. Coffee. A drink shared. Pain shared.
Pictures merely tell the rumor of a half-remembered story,
A book with pages tattered and worn, yellowed with age,
The ink faded and dull, dying to eternity.
Memories fall away like rain dropping down glass,
Fogging the view, warping the truth, and sliding to death.
All is fleeting and passing like a silent train in the night,
But there are no stops but one;
Only the moment of now is the single real thing.
All else is dusty vanity drowning in yesterday’s ashes.