Time’s Echo

1

I remember her hands, wrinkled and plain

her sliver-thin misshapen ring hanging loosely like her neck –

Sagging misfits on her shrinking frame

I remember his Jim Beam paunch, jutting past his cinched up belt

A slide rule in his pocket and smoldering cigarette in his hand

Strands of hair arching across his balding forehead –

fading masquerades of youth

Too old to be my parents

They spoke of harder days

They warned of leaner days

and the talk of bread lines and Pearl Harbor mounded ashes beyond my years

Not poor, but forever frugal

we lived life learning to do

without

And the young parents of my peers stood as polished reminders that mine

were worn and out-of-date

like the hand-me-downs and mended socks I wore

I wore them, too, in shame

Too old to be my friends

~ ~ ~ ~

But Time has met its echo

and age-tinted glasses tell a new tale

I look at my hands, wrinkled and plain –

they are my mother’s

I touch the strands of my hair, untouched by grey –

they are my father’s

I hear their voices ring more gently now

of nickel trolley rides and Saturday talkies

and gazing through clouds to see winged magic in flight

the whispers of my parents

once my shame

have now become my glory

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