to the children’s museum in St. Louis.
My parents load up their old Airstream,
encapsulating the family’s daily needs in
nineteen sleek feet of silver mobile home
for the semi-annual tombstone tour.
I’m in the stiff back seat
of a dusty blue Grand Marquis.
My only seat mates are boxes full
of decrepit documents, covered
in mysterious calligraphy
that I can’t yet read.
It must be something important.
As days slide by, my vagabond parents
can’t pass even the most neglected cemetary
without stopping to brush away leaves
and compare dates and names
between fragile paper and weathered stone,
always searching and seeking.
Back in the car, bored, sweaty, sleepy,
I crumple over on those boxes
of names and places and births and deaths.
In my slumber, I dream of the day
I can finally read and will unlock
the mysteries of those signs and sigils.
So, among those blocks of granite,
cared with the alphabet, both
fancy and plain, numbers marching
underneath the melodic names,
I learn how to read.
~ Lorraine Achey
Lorraine Achey is from southeast Kansas and writes poetry and short fiction. Her efforts are often hampered by a lapful of dogs and their noisy toys. Visit floodgaps.blogspot.com to read more of her work.