Skip to content

“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,

spider-legged bookworm.

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.


Poetry, The River

%d bloggers like this: