Belmont Avenue

26 Belmont

“May I help you?”
I don’t recognize the stranger addressing me
From the porch
Where I used to color with my cousins
Swing in my pajamas
Play with paper dolls.

I respond with an apology
For walking into the backyard
Where I used to play tag with my cousins
Catch summernight fireflies
Lay in the grass, spotting castles
In the clouds.

I tell her this is my
Used to be
My home.

“Would you like to come in?”
My heart pounds.  I decline,
Then quickly change my mind.
Yes.  Yes, please.

As I walk in, I’m overcome with emotion.
Much is the same.
Some is different.
Everything seems smaller –
Everything but the love.
The love looms large,
Reaching through the decades
To embrace,

© copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013



Sandstone giants creep downhill
Imperceptibly at will
Littering the valley floor,
Weighing half-a-ton or more.
Monsters float with silent grace,
Falling from their lofty place.
Would not wish to be on hand
When goliaths finally land.

Marie Elena

Photo by Marie Elena Good

Note:  This is a true phenomenon in Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve of the Hocking Hills of Ohio.  Sandstone rocks, weighing in the tons, detach from the bedrock wall of 200-feet, and slide absolutely imperceptibly downhill to the floor of the gorge.  The rock in the photo above is one such “Slump block.”


Angels sing me lullabies
Softly lilting voices rise
Wafting gently through the air
Carrying an earnest prayer:
“Dream of Jesus, little one
He who hung the moon and sun
Cradles you all through the night
Safely snug ‘til morning light.
Safely snug ‘til morning light.”

(My father [Sophie’s Great Grandfather] wrote an original tune for this lullaby.   It may also be sung to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Stay Awake.”)

Marie Elena (Nonna Marie)

Photo by Marie Elena Good

PRINTS (Sophie’s Sonnet)

A woman knows instinctively, it seems,
Which moments will leave prints upon her soul.
Her future life weaves fabric through her dreams
And writes upon her heart, as though a scroll.
A woman thinks she knows what to expect
From pioneering moments in her world –
Anticipation of events’ effects,
And how her heart will feel as they’re unfurled.
Yet, there was I, as wholly unprepared
As if I’d never given you a thought.
My heart and hub were all-at-once ensnared –
I would convey in words, yet I cannot.
Sophia Rose: a gift from God above –
New life. New breath. New gift. New print. New love.

Marie Elena (Nonna Marie)

Photo by Marie Elena Good