I remember my grandmother’s bakery,
The sour-sweet smell of fresh hearth-baked bread.
There I learned discipline, the fun
Of honestly earned sweat from a job well done;
Whether it be sweeping the floor,
Moving the racks out of the bakers’ path,
Wrapping the sliced bread, by hand initially, and later by machine,
Or, any of the necessary bakery routines
During the wonderful years of my teens.
Those were good memories.

When I think back of the pleasures
Of the public library, knowing
That here were more books
Then I could ever absorb
During my whole lifetime,
But just trying would be sublime.
Those were good memories.

I recall the pride in my expertise
As I operated the army-issued carbine,
And the hidden fear that I
Might have to use that ability
Against the living.
Those are harsh memories.

I remember the instant of awesome knowledge
When I met the one whom became my love-mate.
My world took on a fullness
Of which I had no previous inkling,
And that awareness is as great today
As it was in the beginning.
Those were fabulous memories.

I can call up the sight of my new-born son
When (disturbed from his long safe growing
Under his mother’s heart) he lustily complained.
Watching that mite of existence
Caused my adamant atheism to suffer a decided setback.
Those are joyful memories.

I shall never forget the surge of helplessness and love
As my wife and I stood besides the incubator
As our new-born grandson struggled so hard to live.
We each had a finger clasped in his little fists,
And, even today, the path to our hearts
Is wide open because of the forging of that love.
And memories continue to multiply.