He turns off the interstate
onto a dusty two lane
'til he comes to a ghost town
bearing the family name.

There's not much left
but some run down old shacks,
a few boarded up shops
and some overgrown tracks.

His granddaddy's Texaco
still sits on the hill
twixt the IGA store
and the old lumber mill.

Not much left of it either
a crooked sign in the breeze,
couple of rusted out pumps
and the old cooler, he sees.

Granddad stocked it with Nehis
he and his pals drank for free
while granddad told tales
as each boy took a knee.

Tales of monstrous fish
and rasslin brown bear
which grandma overheard
and muttered "I do declare!"

He pulled up to the house,
climbed rickety old stairs
onto the old wooden porch
still dotted with chairs.

He rubbed dirt off the glass
with the heel of his hand,
peered through the old window,
his face leathered and tanned.

The damn mice made a meal
of grandma's old rocker,
still sitting in the room
next to granddad's walker.

He tried the doorknob,
was surprised when it gave,
stepped over the threshold
to see what he might save.

Up the stairs slowly
so as not to fall
to his pops' old room
at the end of the hall.

He swung the door open
and stepped back a few years
his rheumy old eyes
full of nostalgic tears.

The room was untouched
since pops moved to the bay,
just a layer of dust
no one's home to wipe away.

He gathered up treasures
befitting a young boy
with a heart full of song
and an old man's joy.

Blue ribbons for show pigs,
trophies for playing ball,
trading cards and rocks,
Dodgers pennant on the wall.

He found an old wooden box,
laid pops' things in with care.
Didn't matter to him
they were worse for the wear.

He knew a young boy
who'd treasure them the same
a grandson with his eyes
and the same last name.

Back down the stairs
still cautious in stride,
he placed the box in his car
and continued his ride.
Advertisements