“Daddy and Uncle Bobby” and “Unpacked and Unpolished”
By Carol Parris Krauss
Daddy and Uncle Bobby
Daddy and Bobby would plant pennies on the track. Hide behind the azaleas
waiting for the two a.m. Narrow Gage Rail to roll through downtown Canton
on the way to Champion Mill. Squish their pennies flat as Nanny’s flapjacks.
Later, they greased the tracks, waited to see the train struggle the incline
and then roll backwards to town. Always pranksters. Well in their 80s.
One hard of hearing, the other half blind, they snuck into the Lake City
Christmas parade. Promenaded right before Rudolph, pretty as you please.
Waving and throwing candy canes and Ho-Ho-Ho’s. Late for dinner
with the wives. Snickering, elbowing each other as they made short work
of liver and onions. Pronounced Aunt Frances’ coconut cake better
than the one served over at the Daily Dessert on Main Street. Recollected
how Pa-paw would switch them for sneaking out, skipping school.
Making mischief. The brothers proclaimed
how some things don’t change. Rightly so.
Unpacked and Unpolished
Unpacking I discovered
they were missing—
the Sears Roebuck catalogs
and rocks I collected. Quartz,
granite, the occasional
amethyst. Pages dog-eared,
a pink toy mixer circled in black,
checkmarks by frilled and bowed
dresses. They’d hid
in the back of my closet, provided
sanctuary for an 80-pound,
Even still I imagine them sitting
by the curb, rain bloating
the catalogs, rocks unrecognized
as treasure. I didn’t
settle easy into my new life,
it took time, it took patience.
A rock in a tumbler waiting
to be polished before wrapped
in decorative paper. Waiting
to be signed with a note of love.
About the Author
Carol Parris Krauss loves to use vivid imagery. Her work is in: One Art,The SC Review, Louisiana Literature, Broadkill Review, Story South, and Susurrus. She was recognized by the UVA press as a Best New Poet and her first book , Just a Spit down the Road, was published by Kelsay.