local_library Lucky Stone

by Richard Stuecker

Published in Issue No. 280 ~ September, 2020

Sometimes I smell mildew and pine,

and I know it is my grandmother and

I am again awakened by lace curtains

touching my face, breeze blown through

a screen, through a screen where I see

a dirt path go into the woods, a gravel drive

and her wooden garage where her

Chevy waits to be driven. When she

pulls the doors open, the smell of oil,

gasoline, sawdust and age; she opens the door

so I can jump in and sit beside her, just

she and me while the others sleep, down

Wooded Hill and across the Four Corners,

past Saint Andrews and its fine steeple,

the red brick schoolhouse across from the

high school toward the North River Bridge,

through Norwell to the rotary, where the sky

opens up to the sea and gulls call above a row

of shops and cafes and book stores to the point

where the lighthouse stands, has stood at the

Atlantic shore through fogs and storms

and ages of lovers, sunburnt families who

take over the cabins each year. We pull up

where we always pull up to and sit on the bench

we always sit on, out of her purse she hands me

a wrapped in waxed paper piece of saltwater

taffy we suck on and chew and chew on

our thoughts until we search for a lucky stone,

granite wrapped by a white line, on the rocky beach,

storm-tossed smooth. I keep one she finds

in my pocket, always have, to touch, to feel,

to remember who I am and where I come from.


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Richard Stuecker is a poet and writer who holds an AB from Duke University and an MFA from the Bluegrass Writer’s at Eastern Kentucky University. A Pushcart Prize nominee for fiction. A collection of essays on conscious aging, Vibrant Emeritus, was published in 2014 by John Hunt Publishing (London). A chapbook of poems will be published by Kelsay Press in 2020.