The Freckled Face of a Girl

The Freckled Face of a Girl

A Poem by McEltic

A true story about my great great grandparents

Dappled grey horses 
sweat crusted and weary 
hooves drifting dust 
lift a day 
passing dreary 
The harness bells faded 
reigned in at the rill 
a cool running brook 
near the base of our hill 

My eyes 
I'm a lad 
scant older than four 
brought visions to mind 
full of wonders in store 
A wagon decked out 
like a big city market 
he lifted the side 
then he shook out the carpet 

Our old kitchen door 
screamed out 
lack of oil 
a kettle 
clanged gently 
just set on to boil 
E'er mother's voice shouted 
"I think it's the Pox 
the old folks have died 
I've been digging their plots" 

"My father's in bed 
and they won't let me near" 
the stranger walked by 
with a smile 
mussed my hair 
Went in with a bag 
full of magic he grows 
started mixing a broth 
made with god only knows 

Tip toed on a box 
dragged in from the yard 
through windows 
he folded 
gunpowder with lard 
The screams of my father 
sent tears to my eyes 
they rubbed him completely 
in spite of his cries 

They fed him the broth 
a few drops at a time 
I climbed off the box 
with his horses in mind 
"The horses love apples" 
I turned with a whirl 
peeking out from his wagon 
the freckled face 
of a girl 

In moments I knew her 
a lifetime 
it seemed 
a most likeable friend 
who knew all the schemes 
As father got better 
t'was time to move on 
her father 
a doctor 
a peddler 
a con 

He'd done us a service 
we could never repay 
though he sold us an organ 
an' stool 
by the way 
Each year they returned 
once or twice 
they dropped by 
little freckle faced Mary 
the girl of my eye 

They'd rest a few days 
with each visit 
it's true 
she wrote the best love songs 
while I wrote the tunes 
Then one night it happened 
'neath moon and the stars 
consummating a love 
that would forever 
be ours 

He stumbled upon us 
but said not a word 
in the morning 
so early 
fading echoes we heard 
Ne'er again did we see them 
though rumors 
of peril ... 
my parents expired 
to a place 'neath the barrow 

Five years had surpassed 
isolation and grief 
knocked a lamp 
from the table 
when I'd fallen asleep 
The house nearly cinder 
an' I felt like the fool 
only item I'd saved 
was the old organ stool 

Just sat there and watched 
till the sun broke the morn 
in the distance 
an echo 
I'd heard years before 
Then over the rise 
sweat crusted and weary 
two dappled grey horses 
on a day 
passing dreary 

The horses reigned in 
right next to the rill 
that sweet running brook 
at the base of our hill 
A woman climbed down 
took a step 
to the glade 
the dawning day's sun 
streaming in to pervade 

A light in my heart 
jumped a thousand times fold 
the smile in her eyes 
and the story's been told 
The tears 
fell in rapture 
though nothing was said 
now with Mary 
she'd returned from the dead 

She unhitched the horses 
I lifted the side 
"The years have been kind" 
I said 
lifting her pride 
"Are you my daddy?" 
I turned with a whirl 
peeking out from the wagon 
the freckled face 
of a girl

© 2020 McEltic

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So eloquently told and wonderful story with a happy ending. I loved the setting how the details ease my mind into the story like the kettle set to a boil and " The kitchen door screamed lack of oil." The girl arriving at the end. Beautiful story. thanks for sharing made my morning sincerely your friend in writing and life.

Posted 5 Months Ago

WOW! WOW! WOW! This is epic! I am in awe! What an endearing story told endearingly! This is the poster child for taking one's time thru a story, catching all those delicious little details & spinning this tale out long & meandering like it was the only thing you ever wanted to do. Love your loose & imperfect rhyme & rhythm which represents the very mood of this storytelling. Great capture from real life! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 5 Months Ago


5 Months Ago

Thanks Margie... my daughter still uses the organ stool with her keyboard :)

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2 Reviews
Added on November 2, 2020
Last Updated on November 2, 2020



London, Canada

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