you washed my feet in the warm soapy water,

they were dusty from running all day on the streets,

the soil here is black and sticks to socks and shoes and

half exposed ankles and toes,

and so every night, after we got home past the sunset

you would give us hot tea and home made pastries

that were prepared during the heat and the humdrum of

summer days, while everyone was absent

either due to work, or visiting friends or as in my case

carefree creating make belief universes out of sand dunes

tree branches and other worthless debris.

youd embrace me before going to sleep, firm and massive,

making me feel really treasured, as if afraid to let go

and I inhaled your flowery gown, your familiar scent,

the scent of this old house built with

your smooth hands,

one time, you got mad when I misbehaved

and didnt come for dinner when called for,

you walked out on the street with a rolling pin,

I saw you and said uh-oh

I was sitting on the infamous logs of our

little commune street with my two cosmonauts.

Ive escaped into space with mere threats.

on good days, Id help collect gooseberries in the garden,

then sit out on the benches beneath the trunks of giant dark trees,

eat sunflower seeds, listen to gossip, laughter, the shuffle of cards,

breathe the fresh evening air and watch the flushed sun slowly sink.

on rainy days, everyone was advised to stay in,

although I longed to be in the middle of storms,

arms like helicopter wings, spinning and catching the drops on my tongue,

what did I know or care about pneumonia,

but rules were rules, so instead we spent countless hours

around living room table playing games,

chess, checkers, bingo, crosswords and cards,

sifting through pre-war sepia photographs,

boxes of relatives and tinted letters.

you loved love stories and soap operas,

new discussion subjects with the neighbors, for next days.

staying busy and active, attracting

everyone in town with your warmth,

welcome all with open arms,

small talk for old wives,

alcohol for old men and delicious treats for the kids.

youve done more than enough,

impacted everyone you knew,

and loved.

youre one of those people who when happy,

infected with laughter,

when upset you are not afraid to cry,

you might have been simple,

but that is a virtue in my mind,

you were always sincere

and youve taught us all

how to forgive

and be kind.