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Mamie's Vineyard ©

Josette Marie Louise Lager
California, USA
2006

In the late afternoon on
a beautiful Autumn day the
old maple tree is shedding her
glory, summer left too soon I
can still recall how hot it was
way back in June.

The beauty that lies before me
is a striking array of color,
lemon yellow, russet and gold
and deep maroon, and my beloved
Mamie was growing old and died
too soon.

I remember the purple grape wine
that came from her little vineyard
in town, and the strolling pathway
that led to tender young vines and
plump juicy grapes, then taken
to the celler, washed, crushed,
and put into large stone crockery
jars to ferment. Final step seal with
paraphin.

Onward Christian soldier marching
off to war and I see laundry from
afar. There's clean white sheets
drying on the line, but hurry before
it rains get it in on time. Don't
forget the old manual lawn mower we
wouldn't want it getting rusty.

There goes my dog Kim, joyfully racing
around the yard in a big circle and me
clapping my hands cheering her on. It's
four o'clock and dinner isn't called
dinner, it's called early supper but
before we eat it's tradition for that
crabby old biddy great aunt Leona to
go outside, clap her hands and chase
all the blackbirds out of the maple
tree. Once that's done we're home free.

I'm in the celler again helping grandma
Mamie shovel coal into the old furnace.
There's the old Maytag washer, got my
finger caught in it once would have lost
it if it wasn't for Mamie.

A tornado is on the way, don't board up
the window completely leave a good size
crack, and watch your head and watch your
back. After all is said and done nothing
is what it seems, for what is life but
a dream, so have yourself a piece of purple
grape pie and some real whip cream.



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