Sunday, August 2, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 112 - Before They Went Up the Stairs

I have a collection of family stories which I coax out of as many relatives as I can. For today's found poetry, I've taken a prose entry from this collection and turned it into a poem.

Ride the Poetry Train!

Before They Went Up the Stairs

Great-Grandpa Meuse would take
Two weeks' vacation

Would come home
To see his family
During the 'teens and 20's

"No wonder
The children were born
Every second year,"

Gram chuckled

Eugene Meuse
Travelled throughout Canada
Picking up work
Wherever he could find it

He worked
On a ranch in Red Deer, Alberta
On the Welland Canal construction
In Ontario
In a logging camp
Deep in the winter woods

He worked many jobs
In the days before
Social safety nets
It was find work
Your family starved

He took out insurance
When he travelled on the train
Insurance so his family would be
Taken care of
If anything should happen to him

Once he got home
Gram remembers her parents
Retiring to their room

At the time
She didn't realize
What they were
Up to

"I remember them
Goin' up the steps, you know,"

Gram said
Putting her hand over her mouth
Laughing at the thought

But before that
They would head over to his mother's

Gram remembers seeing them
Walk over, arm in arm

"They went to see his mother
Before they went up the stairs,
I think!"

Gram said

Laughing again

- Julia Smith, Aug. 2, 2009 / original text 2000