Friday, August 29, 2008

Mulberry-stained Memories

Depending on where I park, I often walk past this mulberry tree on my way to work. The stains on the ground from the mulberries that fall remind me of visiting my grandparents in the tiny town of Virden, New Mexico. The mulberries from their tree fell onto the driveway and road, creating a maroon mess. I have so many memories of visiting there--playing house in the playroom, eating currants off the bush, homemade ice cream on the porch, exploring the neighborhood.

When I was in 8th grade living in Mesa I wrote a poem about Virden. My teacher submitted it to a poetry contest in the school district and I was surprised to learn that it placed first. These memories are so precious to me and to my family.

Virden, New Mexico

A small town full of family,
Full of dust and rusty pick-ups.
Full of ancient houses built by a pioneer’s hand
And full of priceless memories.

Memories of my grandfather’s house
Where the boards in the dark hall go c-r-reak,
With the white picket fence around the play area
And the swings that have swung for many a year.

Memories of roaming the open desert hills
And finding “forts” owned only by us.
Going to the cemetery where lay Baby Elizabeth
and Grandma Jones.
Going to the old school to explore
And most of all talking forever to the
Mrs. Stamper.

Yes, Virden is a small town full of family,
Full of dust and rusty pickups,
Full of ugly old sheds.
It is my heritage.

Please note: poem subject to copyright restrictions. Do not distribute or publish without my express written permission.


arizonamama said...

I have the same wonderful memories of Virden. It's a part of who I am. I wrote a short story on Virden when I was in elementary school and also won a prize for Honorable Mention in the competition. It's amazing how fresh those memories are... especially Mrs. Stamper and the mulberries lining the dirt roads. Thanks for a trip down memory lane...

Lorin and Marilyn said...

Did you know there was a bear in Brandon's yard (used to be Grandpa Jones' yard)this summer? He was eating mulberries and stayed three days. Finally the Fish and Game people had to take him away. They tried to bait him with rotten fruit, etc, but he just sat under the tree and ate mulberries.Even the bears love those mulberries.

Carroll Family said...

I remember when you won that! That's a great poem!