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Childhood Memory- The Old Shed
By Tony DeLorger © 2010
When I was a kid there was a vacant block directly behind our house. It was filled with tall gumtrees, felled tree trunks and wild grasses. It was a wonderland for young boys and my friends and I frequented this natural habitat, collecting blue-tongued lizards, skinks and golden Christmas beetles in the summer. We had a gate at our back fence that opened on to the block, as it was closer to walk to the shops and school.
Also on the block, set in the corner against our back fence was and old shed. The landowner has stored all sorts of treasures in this broken-down shed. It always seemed sad, this slow decaying part of someone’s life. Not once did I ever see the owner, nor was the land sold while I was growing up. When I had left home that old shed remained, a monument to the dreams of its owner, who I found out had passed many years before.
Those images of that shed and my childhood in that vacant block remain with me, as clear as those summer days back when. In later life I chose to pay tribute to those memories. The following is one of the poems I wrote to remember. I hope you enjoy it.
Rickety grey and bowed weathered boards,
With gnarled grains and knot-twisted talons,
Alive and cat creeping along bent walls.
Barely conscious and upright stalled,
In rusted nail and flaked fungi-ringed blemishes.
Sadness pours from leaning ravaged doors,
Fine silk from spiders gone, adorn the crusty walls.
While fallen lattice that once birthed crops,
Lay vacant half-buried in lifeless earth,
Swallowed by tattered remnant vines.
With gentle touch a small hole crumbles,
Dusty wooded breath, light piercing blackness.
Wide-eyed, I search forgotten memories stacked,
Waste, high mountains and sunset dreams,
Released from life, decaying vermin fancy.
My heart falls shallow, imbued with death-tinged sorrow,
Intentions lost; a scattered patchwork plight.
Defiled by time, abandoned, a monument to weathered hands,
And condemned to slow dust demise, final breath unspent,
A man’s paradise lost