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Posts Tagged ‘hill’

ed-phy-w-by-carThis is a photo of my brother, Edward (on the left) and myself, the girl on the right.   This poem is very close to the true story  of his NOT teaching me how to drive. 

 
WHY I NEVER LEARNED TO DRIVE
(And Probably Never Will)

I never learned to drive a car
And often wondered why
No one took the time to teach
This girl, once young and shy

Could it be that awful story
My brother used to tell
About the day he tried to teach . . .
Comparing it to Hell

First I hit the chicken coop
With quite a thunderous clap
And both of us then ended up
With chickens in our lap

While fighting clouds of feathers
I backed into a tree
I didn’t do much damage then
But Ed was mad at me

And then I hit the garden fence
In panic, as I slid
I just said, “They never should
Have put it where they did”

In backing up I spun the tires
And spumes of dust arose
Then as I freed the tires, I braked
And poor Ed bumped his nose

The cow was watching all that time
With look of such surprise
Until I almost hit her rump
Then terror filled her eyes

Ed jerked the wheel just in time
By now, his eyes were wide
As I drove onto the hilltop
And down the other side

Ed jammed his foot onto the brake
And stopped upon a dime
For traffic on the highway there
Was busy at that time

He told me to get out, right then
And walk back up the hill
While he mopped his bloody nose
And spoke with such a chill

He never took me out again
And it made me rather sad
Because no one else would either . . .
But I think the cow was glad

Phyllis VanVleck . . . 9/25/01

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When I was twelve and my mom came home (Hammond, Indiana) one day and said that she had found the cutest little house for us to live in. She could have a garden and we would have a huge yard to play in. And, then she took us there and my heart just fell. But, I shall always remember it as my home on “Hookey Hill” where we had love, adventures, sorrow and joy.  We were a family.

 

THE SHACK UPON THE HILL

 

I was a lonesome run-down shack

Sitting high upon a hill

Abandoned and neglected there

My rooms were much too still

 

My boards were loose and weathered gray

With specks of former hue

My tarpaper roof was wind-torn

And had a leak or two

 

My chimney crumbled from neglect

And had a ragged crest

Sparrows used it yearly

To house their springtime nest

 

My window glass held years of grime

Some frames had lost their panes

And sills showed signs of sad decay

From frequent snows and rains

 

My door had broken hinge and lock

So hung a bit awry

The sounds it made in passing breeze

A squeaky lullaby

 

My insides, too, were ailing then

With checked and peeling paint

But though in need of much repair

Could be described as quaint

 

For everywhere that one might look

Were glimpses of the past

And though it was in token form

Had somehow seemed to last . . .

 

Clean spots left upon my walls

From pictures hung with  twine

That hugged and graced the covering

Of faded rose design

  

And on my rough hewn pantry shelves

There sat a broken clock

A mason jar, a dented pan

And damaged butter crock

 

Rusty one-pound coffee cans

With sparse and dried remains

Of pungent red geraniums

Sat on my window frames           

 

A gaping hole was in my wall

Where stove-pipe once went through

Linoleum graced a cracked sink

And Granny cupboard, too

                                               

A room was added long ago

With roof of rusted tin

There was a deep dark cellar room

That served as harvest bin

 

And that is how I was perceived . . .

As a crumbling old shell

But life was not to see an end

For I have more to tell

 

A city family on a drive

Discovered me one day

And saw potential beauty here

Beneath my sad decay

 

And soon my wounds and bruises

Were no longer seen

I have new paint and paper

And brand new window screen

 

My chimney with its new red bricks

No longer winter sleeps

And with its new gray covering

My roof no longer weeps

 

There’s glass in all my window frames

That’s now kept sparkling clean

New hinges on my big front door

Prevents that awful lean

 

Pretty pictures once again

Decorate my walls

And the plaster on my ceilings

No longer cracks and falls

 

A big thick rug on once bare boards

Gives warmth to front room floor

While chintz and lacy curtains

Grace windows as before

 

There’s flowers on my window sills

A tiled kitchen floor

And a rug for wiping soiled shoes

Is by my busy door 

                                  

The musty smell of aging wood

Is now replaced, instead

By the smell of country cooking

And loaves of homemade bread

 

Six noisy children, with  their pets

Just love to laugh and shout

With youthful exuberance

As they run in and out

                                                      

And the woods that surround us here

Have come alive once more

As children play their childish games

On its thick leafy floor

 

A cottonwood holds a crude tree house

A mighty oak, a swing

Another tree, the tallest one

Is crowned with kite and string

 

A cow is grazing in the woods

There’s chickens in a pen

Little hatchlings trail behind

An old brown setting-hen

                               

A little boy plays in the sand

With tiny trucks and cars

And little girls pick wild-flowers

To put in old fruit jars

 

But that is not the best of it

For these are only things

My rooms are filled with happiness

And all the warmth that brings

 

My walls embrace this family

While sharing hopes and fears

And all the poignant feelings

Of their joys and their tears

 

And so I live, in joy again

A long awaited thrill

With time to make new memories

In this shack upon the hill

 

 

5/5/81            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

This is the DeWitt Family of Griffith Indiana

back row: Edward, Sally and dad

front row: Patsy, Beverly, mom and myself – Phyllis

Brother Donald had died in the war.

Edward and Patsy are now deceased but Sally, Beverly and myself (Phyllis) will have a reunion, in October, in Tennessee.

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