Grandpaw…you are here

Grandpaw…
You are here.
You are that single iris, petals warming in the sun by the fish pond.
You are the Black-eyed Susans sprinkled around your garden.
You are the sound birds singing on the branch of the magnolia.
You are the sun glinting on the water through the leaves and branches.
You are that taste of the ripened figs hanging on the ancient branches.
You are that soft breeze, skipping off the water, sweeping my hair across my face.
You are the smell of freshly chopped cherry logs.
You are the rabbits that live in the beaver wall.
You are the taste of the mulberries dotting the driveway.
You are those gnarled branches of the ripe and full cherry tree.
You are the warmth of the sun darkening my bare shoulders.
You are the creaking boards of the piers.
You are the blue herons crying out in the night.
You are the comforting sound of halyards clanking their masts.
You are that beetle meandering though the leaves under the bush.
You are here.

by Emily A Willard, February 2006

grandpa's black-eyed susans - his favorite flower (also Maryland's state flower)

hidee’s workshop and grandpa’s black-eyed susans – his favorite flower (also Maryland’s state flower) c. 2003

– Epilogue –

Unfortunately, most of what I describe in the above poem above no longer exists on the property of the former Willard and Sons’ Boatyard. The gardens, most of the fig trees, the fish pond, the piers we built, the beaver wall – they are all gone. Thankfully the magnolia tree is still there – though severely pruned, and hopefully there will always be Mill Creek and its resident Blue Herons. Even though all of those things are gone, Grandpa is still with me.

One night when my aunt and cousin were visiting, the family spread Grandpa’s ashes in the water over the railway at the Boatyard. Grandpa is now a part of the earth again. Every time I am near a body of water, or a bird, or a flower, I know Grandpa is part of it — and that is so very comforting. No matter what happens, grandpa will always be here with us.

view from the picnic table looking out over the piers and slips.

view from the picnic table looking out over the piers and slips. c. 2003

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One response to “Grandpaw…you are here

  1. Pingback: Spring and other things | EmaBee's Art·

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