Lives touching Lives, like a Pasted Picture Collage

 © 2012 Janice J. Robinson



I step back into the past

retracing paths chosen and those not taken.


Lives touching lives, never fully embracing.

Memories are free … As the years take their toll

All that’s left sometimes are these.

Fragments of time,

like a picture collage

pasted on our minds

Of people, friends, and family … now long gone

Frozen forever in a Kodak moment

We watch while weaving paths of curiosity …

like stone gates that open to nowhere.

Pleasant snippets of color …

like a little girl’s favorite dress …

the swing set out in the back yard

with a real metal slide

that branded you clean down the ride

on a hot day in July ….

You never forgot it.

Tall and lofty rafters in a sand stone garage

that my Grandpa built.

We used to jump off

those rafters and bounce with

glee on the old brass bed below.

Innocently ignorant of the impending impairment

if we had missed our target.

Playing house in the apartment side of our old garage

Sweeping up thirty years of dust and grime;

finding a once beautiful dark blue linoleum with faded bouquets

on the living room floor

The same place where Grandpa told us his brother died.

“Yep!” … Grandpa said …

“his brother tried to save a cat,” he said,

“that fell into the washing machine …

and so he jumped in after it and then he drowned.”

Grandpa said “that they buried him in the crawl space

of that Old garage … in a laundry basket …”

my gosh … we swallowed his tall tale whole.

But afterwards … we “knew” why the door had a lock with a skeleton key.


We wouldn’t go out there after dark. Uh, Uh … NO WAY!


We’d rather walk down the darkened cinder alley,

past Old Mikes house and clean round the block,

rather than come in

By the back gate and walk past that old garage.

A latent fear that De-De might rise from the dead somehow.

Birthday parties out back, cake and ice cream

Hot dogs on the grill

letting pebbles drop down

the old well just to

hear them splash …

hiding under the grape-vine while playing

Hide ‘n Go Seek

not cognizant that my feet were showing

walking around the Rose of Sharon bush… which we called the “Bee Tree”

                                                                                    Bee  Tree

Grandpa showing us how to make dolls from its Flowers and

draping corn silk wigs on them, almost crushing them.

Darkness falling and sparklers lighting up our yard

Like wayward lightning bugs

Hot summer nights, lying ever so still

so we could cool down

and go to sleep.

Eaves closets so long and dark … you could get lost in them.

A headless and armless monster

that I ran into

in one of those darkly lit closets.

Found out later after I stopped screaming,

it was only Mom’s sewing mannequin.

Thank God for brothers!

But it sure scared the creepers right out of my jeepers.

In the upstairs bedrooms

Which we wouldn’t be caught In

after dark

Playing the game of whiplash

until one time my brother flew through the wall

of the same eaves closet he rescued me from,

just like a cartoon character.

Hmmm … Grandpa never spoke a word,

but only brought over his plaster trough and fixed it up right.

Barefoot races down old cinder alleys

throwing rotten apples at old Mike’s house ….

running scared so he couldn’t catch us and club us with his cane.

The 1950′ s blue and white Dodge with push button shifting,

so long it wouldn’t fit into our garage.

Its wings taller than me.


All that’s left sometimes are these…

Fragments of time,

like a picture collage

pasted on our minds

Of people, friends, and family…..