Lora loves sharing her insights and life experience through the medium of writing whether it is a poem, story, or essay.
I go back now and then to the house on fourth street. A house that I used to live in... a long time ago. I don’t even have to think about the route. I could get there with my eyes closed. It has been vacant for quite awhile. No one is living here now. My parents were the last ones to live in the house and they are gone. The house has been in my family for generations and the first occupants were my great grandparents.
The attic still has many boxes filled with old photos of family members spanning generations and dolls that were played with by my mother when she was a child and dolls belonging to my myself and passed on to my daughter. There is something sacred about this place as I reflect on old memories of days spent here and the joy of holidays and family reunions when we would all get together again- baking cookies, singing carols, and opening presents. Taking my daughter’s small hand in mine, I would often follow my parents as they would stroll through the garden and walk along the path that led to the river in back. How long ago, it seems now!
I always go to the bedroom that I used to stay in whenever I’m there and look at all the objects in my room, still there, as if no one had ever left. Nothing is amiss and the furniture unchanged with the same dresser cloths that were all embroidered by my grandmother...and still scented with the lilac perfume that takes me back to the days of my childhood. Then it all begins again. I sit in the old chair in front of my dresser and look into the mirror…and then I see it or her... rather… a shadowy figure of a little girl. It peeks at me from around a corner- there for only moments before it vanishes. I feel a cold chill as I hear an echo of a child’s laughter which fades into nothingness.
I then go outside searching for this child. I wander into the garden and down the path to the river and then I see a faded note written in crayon with the words, “I love you.” I can almost feel her little body in my arms and her little hands touching my face as I rush to the river’s edge. I look down to see a reflection of a beautiful little face with limpid eyes, framed by golden locks wearing a little white dress with a pink heart and ribbon. Then this vision disappears in an instant and I see only a little bouquet floating where she once was. I turn to go once more…but soon will return. I have an odd sense of familiarity about this child…as if she were connected to me in some way. Every time, I leave with a sense of loss yet a sense of warmth from just being in her presence. I feel love for her and hope for the day when I can communicate my feelings to her.
She clings to warm fragrant air
and running, swirling water;
crystal droplets in tiny prisms of yellow, orange
and green sunlit leaves…
Above, her fragile silhouette dances from star to star-
a luminescent trail of cosmic dust
twinkles, long after a shadow
has exited to some remote unknown planet.
Yet she’s always there-
visible and invisible;
inside the tinyiest sand pebble
lying on a vast desert or
beside an ocean stretching endlessly and beyond…
for she is the essence of all.
I try to grasp the delicate image of this beautiful child
but like glass it shatters into a thousand pieces;
I will kiss each shard tenderly,
and once more she will become real.