Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rembrandt. Aristotle before the Bust of Homer (1653, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

On your Grandmother's hundredth anniversary of her birth.

The written language has its own life.
The world opens forward and back in time.
Eventually into the mists as all memory fades.
Meanings change though events happen.

Next year (see how easily I slip into the future,
in the sand country of central Wisconsin's poor farms
and deep winter snow a baby girl was born in 1912
now deep in the past) it will be a century,
another mark of time.

My Grandfather, my cousin, Bonnie, on the other knee
sounding out the words in the Sunday comics,
laughing with delight as we first recognized some;
a laugh you got to hear repeated by my Uncle Lloyd
(the day he gave you that lucky fishing hat)
as your brother played pinball with him in the tavern.

Time works that way.
Generations pass down laughter in the good times
along with love of words ...or fishing.

Love of the written language
that comes from the century of oak for heat,
kerosene for light. I found books in the attic
of my Grandfather's back another century still.
He taught her to read on his knee as well.

Teachers College and one room schools.
Patient sounding out the words, it was phonics back then.

Like Dad, I too married a woman who loved to read.
Your pedigree set to be a man of letters
before your own day of birth.
Magnet letters following on the refrigerator.
The same three letter alphabet floating in milk
you text me now.

The affirmation of "Yep" always good for a smile.

and timeless

By Phil Specht on Feb 19, 2011

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