When I was a boy I could visit Rupesimon’s store,
the kind of place that does not exist any longer
except in museums and old books,
a country store that smelled of old smoke
and salt cured ham, a place unclassified
without bar codes and carefully-kept inventory,
stocked more by instinct than counting.
They knew our names there,
and our proclivities for candy, soda
and the feed we preferred to proffer our pigs.
They knew what we sang in church the day before,
and that yesterday evening
we had dynamited the beaver dam for the second time
The shelves were dusty, with old books and shoes,
with strange devices, peculiar
tools of torture, medieval things of cast iron
and blades and handles.
There was magic in that place, I was sure of it
and while the grownups talked,
you found the dark corners seeking spells
and the ratty old cat who skulked
behind feedbacks and counters, sure somehow
that his one-eyed head held the secrets of the universe.
But the cat was too fast, as was time
and today the store lies empty, half rotted
and yet not quite dead,
whispering to you in your dreams,
“Come, let me tell….”
About this poem
A poem of memories, not meaning. Except perhaps to the child in me who refuses to die entirely.