Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24: The Good Old Days, Beverly Matherne, "I Remember Louisiana"

For some reason, I've been thinking a lot about my childhood recently.  I guess it's inevitable when you age, thinking back on "the good old days."  Of course, the problem with the gold old days is that you don't realize you're living through them.

For example, two years ago, I was working in the office of a cardiology practice.  I didn't want to be working there.  It was not a move of my own choosing.  But, now that I look back on it, it has become the good old days, because I was working with people who have become really good friends.  My sister was still alive.  My daughter was still in middle school, and I was still her knight in shining armor in a lot of ways.

All that is gone now.  I'm sure, in two years' time, I'll be reflecting on this time right now.  It may have become part of the good old days.  I don't know.  The one thing that's certain about the good old days is that you don't know they're good until they're over.  That's how it works.

Saint Marty tries to make every day a good old day.

I Remember Louisiana

by:  Beverly Matherne

I remember pole vaulting
over cane reeds
onto soft, black dirt,
running hurdles the whole
length of your yard,
then clinging fast to long vines
that swept us up and across the swamp.
I remember wild irises and egrets
and dogwood and sweet mulberries.
I remember miles of sugar cane, how
I ran through rows, sliced my legs;
miles of tobacco, lace from hurricane hail.
I remember shrimp boiled in Zatarain,
the file and cayenne in andouille gumbo.
I remember Atchafalaya, Catahoula, Coushatta,
Natchitoches, Opelousas, Tickfaw.
I remember starched lace in the tabernacle,
the smell of Johnson's Wax on the linoleum floor.
I remember feeling faint before communion,
the crisp host on my tongue, Dominus vobiscum
and Pater noster, qui es in coelis . . .
I remember chicken manure and honeysuckle
after rain, ostrich feathers
and tasseled breasts at Mardi Gras,
taut loins cavorting to Zulu drums,
the whips tearing at Jesus' flesh,
and how longing can thrust, combust,
and burn a hole through my chest.

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