The World of Memories

                                by David P. Stern


    John Wayne passed away
    While I was gone
    Among New Hampshire lakes
    No paper reached me that whole week
    No radio, no TV.
    The world stopped, time froze
    As if
    Not one thing ever happened
    With me gone
    It seems
    John Wayne is still with us
    And do I wonder sometimes
    What new picture is his next.
    And back where I once grew up
    A wide green field across from home
    Had sticky bushes everywhere
    The city sprawl had not yet reached it
    Though it came near. And far beyond it
    A hill topped by a lone low pine tree
    Stood perched above a view of the great ocean
    And underneath that tree, bed of dry needles
    One could sit in shade, at times for hours
    To watch far ships and clouds above them
    I have not been there twenty years now
    But sure, all is still standing, still unchanged
    Don't tell me it's built up now, no it isn't!
    No, no, it still exists! Hear me?
    And my history teacher from high school
    So cheerful. young, devoted, earnest
    Still wears her hair rolled up into a bun.
    Oh yes, and I recall a sculpture
    By Eskimo craftsmen, of a bear
    Of stone, gray and hand-carved,
    It reared up lifelike, sniffed the air
    Cost thirty dollars in the gift shop
    Where we found it on our honeymoon
    But we lacked money, and I wouldn't buy it
    And now that I have what it takes, if we go through
    Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park
    (though there is not much chance we will)
    I shall buy it. Oh yes, it's still there
    On the shelf where we last saw it.
    Time does pass. But within our minds
    The world remains young.
    And old memories stay
    Like flowers pressed, long long ago
    Inside a book.
    And the same Sun keeps shining brightly
    Year after year
    Year after year.
                                                        1979, 2007

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Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   david("at" symbol) .

Last updated 1 June 2007