Author’s Notes:  These are true memories that I wanted to get down before they drift away.  It’s written in a poetic style because my memories come to me in a sporadic, fragmented way.  My dad, who admonished us to stay off the hump, would say it’s not a poem because it doesn’t rhyme.  Let’s call it poetic expression.


morgan 11

A Sunday afternoon drive.
Like so many before.
We called it the country
though I know now
it was just outside of town.

A two-lane highway
heavy with tractor trailers,
me and my sisters pestering
each other in the back seat.

We would stand on the floor
and watch through the windshield.
Get off the hump, my dad would say.
We had worn the carpet
to bare metal.

The house was huge,
but it was tired and worn.
Bees buzzed from their hives
within the front porch posts.
Sheet metal was nailed over
the holes in the wooden steps.

There was an aroma
of old wood
soft wood
wet wood.
Earth shady from giant oaks.
And dogs.

Always family.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.
All there to see Mom and Sid Morgan.
The oldest people I had ever known.
Ancient and intriguing,
they loved having everybody visit.

Open gas fires
and peeling paint on the walls.
Linoleum coming up from the floor.
So many rooms.
where no one goes.
An unfinished oil painting
on an easel
in the parlor.

And the museum.
A.S. Morgan’s life.
The two-headed calf.
A bald eagle.
The wheel of West Virginia trees.

Finally their lives could not go on,
the house could no longer stand.
Nature has reclaimed the land,
the museum was moved
and moved again.

It’s a hollow shell of what it was.
When I see it now,
it’s hard to think of Sid
or any of the rest of the family.
When my generation passes,
so will the legacy of
Albert Sidney Morgan.

copyright 2014, joseph e bird