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Prose of Leslie W. Paine

Grandpa’s Inventory

By Leslie W. Paine of Canadice NY

From the Canadice Chronicle, June 1990

My friends, I have no pile of gold,

No palace, castle, with a moat,

no stocks or bonds, no motor boat.

Mine is an old and weathered home,

Sheltered by woodland in cold and storm

These hundred thirty years and more.

And then sweet summer brings such simple things:

Pennyroyal grows on soil outworn,

Mint by banks of yonder stream,

The sassafras at woodland’s edge,

And caraway by buildings near.

And then, perchance at end of day

(truly such a chance is rare)

Look to the westward in the evening at setting sun:

The startling darkness of a lowering cloud,

Edged molten with eternal fire above,

Below a sea of color - blue, green, azure, jade

Breath-taking glory there, so soon to fade.


Now, my friend, you ask of me, “How can it be

That this inventory is of any use?

It has no base for income tax;

It is but fabric of a dream!”

Dear friend, it is indeed the fabric of a dream

The fabric of a dream come true!

The items listed here, you see,

Are threads, bright-colored, gay

In life a living tapestry:

I am of it, and it’s of me!