Years Ago, a poem by Richard LeDue at
Bradley Swenson

Years Ago

Years Ago

written by: Richard LeDue



my grandmother’s shack was torn down.
She never owned the land.
The neighbors were related
to her second husband,
who died of cancer before I was born.

Her third husband had a strawberry garden
somewhere that was reclaimed by nature
after he died from his lungs giving out.

I can still smell
my grandmother’s second hand smoke
and see the coffee mug of beer
she drank daily,
while the five o’clock news
fought with static on the TV.

She had some cats too, who were smart
enough to be afraid of strangers,
so they disappeared after she died,
which taught my teenage brain
that endings are never tidy.

There was also a road down to a beach
next to her shack.
The beach had more stones than sand
and so much seaweed that it tickled
my childhood mind with fantasies
of water monsters, and at least
that’s all still there,
except there’s a gate now.

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