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Grays Harbor

by Susan Brown (Age: 58)
copyright 09-05-2008

Age Rating: 16 +

Monster spruce blocking sandy shores
Where are you, Ocean?
We have come home to haunt our houses
Hear the snicker?

Long overdue tidewaters beach their smiles
The old road loops around
Trails remain buried under devils clubs Potter
Taverns empty
Friend are lost, but not forgotten

Drawbridge begs we return again
Ghosts passing upon rusty tire whine of line
Steel grating grooves fill in the fit
Timeless wallow - well worn
Concrete frost heave illusions merge
Cableway arches prevailed in our absence

Row houses dot the blocks
Their boardwalk railings testify on our behalf
We were here!
Stairs staggering
"Shifty eyes"
Dial up the names and dates
10th and J street

To be among them once more, all together
Salute - bottles clink

Poem trivia: Devils clubs - Thick brush that grows in Alaska and Washington in heavily wooded areas. "Potter" The name of the family who purchased our home place forty years ago. My father and I still think of it as, our!

Together, he and I went back recently to take a peek at their progress. Much to my surprise and delight my childhood friend, will be inheriting the entire place. I hadn't seen her in forty years. Once she remembered "who I was" she said, "the trails are gone."
She and I raced our horses down trails, over logs, through deep forest, in our grade school years, on the same paths - my father, his father and his grandfather had ridden, during their youth. This property has been vacant since we moved away. The timber remains. It was unbelievable to return after all these years, to find it, very much, unchanged. Similar (undeveloped) it has remained, for many generations. In this modern day and age, how crazy cool (unheard of) is that!

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        05-11-2010     Susan Brown        

I love that area. My fathers family has eternal roots there. Ninety percent of my early poetry is connected to those towns, taverns and homes. The fog, moss, and ferns remain my closest friends. Interesting to hear you stem from that magical place.


        05-11-2010     Mae Futter Stein        

Hi Susan,
I was raised in Grays Harbor Washington. Graduated from High School there and moved on to Seattle where I attended college. I am going to a family reunion there this July. I was so surprised when I read your poem. I will say hello to the black berries and razor clams which I miss very much. The greenness of the tall trees and all. I relate to your poem very close.
Very nicely put. Mae

        05-10-2010     Walter Jones        

your words were just what I needed to night, each line brought a thousand pictures to life, memories on the edge, just needing a reminder to turn to technicolor, we run in thought across pages and places, all more perfect than they ever will be, but such is the dream, thank you, Walt

        08-25-2009     Alan Reed        

Those that once were the were lovely places - in cyclical fashion - get passed over with time. Grays' Harbor is fine with those inhabitants of today. And they will turn it around to be the beautiful, historic fun loving site it once was. Time will tell. Nicely put together emotional piece. -Alan

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