Once Upon a Memory
© Grady L. Duncan
Once upon a memory,
with teary eyes I still recall,
those tender loving years,
when I was fairly small.

Family was my whole world.
We often gathered by dozens;
Grandparents, aunts and uncles,
moms, dads, and all my silly cousins.

Laughter was not an option.
It was an absolute must.
If I tried to restrain it,
I thought that I would bust.

It became a little crowded,
But no one seemed to mind,
Grandma's house would enfold us,
and we would manage just fine.

At night it got a little cozier
with not enough beds for all,
the floor was covered with pallets
that were spread from wall to wall.

As the dawn was breaking,
and nature was making its call,
the old privy out back,
couldn’t accommodate us all.

The girls had to stand in line,
awaiting their turn to wee-wee,
while the boys went behind the barn,
or behind a big oak tree.

With that matter then behind us,
and the aroma of coffee in the air,
we quickly drew fresh water,
washing our hands and combing our hair.

The sight of a platter of biscuits,
with eggs and bacon on each plate,
beckoned each and every hungry soul,
but then we were made to wait.

Grandpa was on his way now,
plying his cane to finally get there,
Seated he’d say; "Now bow your heads",
calling on someone to lead a prayer.

Truly, we had much to pray for;
good food, good health, and much more.
The family was still whole;
death had not yet overshadowed our door.

None of us were wealthy;
having money and earthly gain,
but we had need for nothing;
the source of our strength was plain.

I have shared with you a memory;
just one page of a book of my life.
Each page is stained with tears;
shed from much joy, some for pain and bitter strife.

As I thumb through pages of time,
I see that nothing is made to last.
Many loved ones are only memories.
Their voices speak to me from the past.

Some day the last page will be written.
The book will be closed evermore,
and I will rejoin those of my memories,
reunited on God’s distant shore.

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