Friday, May 18, 2018

A Home for the Seasons: A Memoir Poem




I spent many of my happiest childhood days at the home of my maternal grandparents--Michael and Anna (Chalupka) Koziski. They owned a small duplex on a quiet street in Peabody, Massachusetts. They lived on the left side of the house. My Aunt Emily and my cousins Karen and Joyce lived on the right side after my Uncle Stanley passed away when he was in his late twenties.
 
After the death of my Babci and Dzidzi, I decided to write a collection of poems about them and their home in order to honor their memory. Here is the first poem from the unpublished collection:
 
A Home for the Seasons
 
My grandparents’ house seems to hug their shady street.
A white duplex, its twin front doors
stand side by side
just three steps up from the sidewalk.
We always enter their house through the side door.
Stepping into the kitchen,
we find Babci sitting at the far end of the table
spooning filling onto circles of homemade dough
and making pierogis, crocheting afghans,
or snipping lacy designs from paper—
a traditional folk art she learned in Poland.
Sometimes we see her painting flowers on the cupboard doors
or hanging starched curtains she embroidered by hand.
The aroma of stuffed cabbage or babka baking in the oven
often greets us at the door.
Most days, Dzidzi spends outdoors tending to his garden
or painting the shutters green
or mending the picket fence
or building a backyard fireplace for summertime barbecues.
My grandparents always busy themselves
making their place a special place
for the family to gather throughout the year,
making it a home for all the seasons.
 
 
Anna & Michael Koziski


Four Cousins
My sister Virginia is in the back row.
Front Row (L to R) Me, Joyce, Karen
 
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Rebecca has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Sloth Reads.
 
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NOTE: I want to thank my grandnephew George Blaney for putting many of our old family pictures on CDS for close relatives.

9 comments:

Jeannine Atkins said...

Lovely!

Elisa said...

Beautiful memoir and poem, Elaine love the peaceful and homey details.

jama said...

Love the heartwarming details of your poem. Enjoyed seeing the pics too. I hope you get this collection published someday!

Linda B said...

Beautiful capture of these memories, Elaine. I have such fond memories of spending days with my grandparents, you've made me remember, too. I love the photos, too.

Mitchell Linda said...

I love this peek into your family and the special time of you being a grandaughter. Those memories are SO special I find them challenging to get right....or in a satisfying arrangement in a poem. The sense of smell and sight and feeling of hugs are all there. Wonderful and well done.

Rebecca Herzog said...

Thank you for sharing a part of your family with us. I really enjoyed reading your poem

Kay said...

Lovely poem--that list of actions by your grandparents bring their home to life.

Molly Hogan said...

What a lovely way to honor your grandparents. Your ending line beautifully sums it all up.

Michelle Kogan said...

Beautiful poem Elaine, I loved your closing line,
"making it a home for all the seasons."
Thanks!