by Beverly Mach Geller

Old house, embraced

by your yard, you have

grown old along with us.

Carved from our farmland

your street, Philyet,

bears the name of my parents.

We chose your oak floors

painted your walls green

planted the elm tree

that towers over your garage.

You sheltered our eldest, Janice,

now a grandmother,

The Beatles’ songs

still embedded in your walls,

dancing feet echo

from the floorboards.

Remember

Philip at three,

bare but for high boots

wading in an outdoor puddle,

or pumping on the backyard swing,

his Collie, Criss, waiting.

Our youngest, Robert, now the father

of a daughter, twin sons,

started a vegetable garden

with carrot seeds in his sandbox.

The birch tree he dug from the woods,

patriarch to a stand of birches.

When your door opened at seven

their dad surrendered

to hugs, tugging, giggles,

guessing which pocket

held a surprise,

the kitchen’s warmth, dinner’s aroma.

Your yard

whose soil we turned,

still holds the promise of daffodils

transplanted from the roadside,

sweetness of red roses

nurtured from mail-order twigs,

each fall’s yellow chrysanthemums

a birthday surprise,

and what were verdant saplings

now aged pines laden with snow.

Beverly Mach Geller is a graduate of Syracuse University School of Nursing. She earned a BA in English from Rutgers University and an MA from The College of NJ. She is the author of six books for children and her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including the Kelsey Review, Delaware Valley Poets, New Jersey Poetry Society, and U.S. 1 Worksheets. She has lived in Mercer County for over 70 years.

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