Marshall, Texas

when I was young we stayed for a while
in Marshall, Texas
where a pecan tree grew
outside my grandparent’s home
the house was moved many years later,
by a buyer,
the whole house on a flatbed truck
to a different location
after my grandparents had died
when I heard this
it reminded me of the tale
of the virgin's house at Ephesus
which apparently was lifted by angels
I think the road had grown too close to it
my grandparent’s house that is
(not the one at Ephesus)
with the swing on the front porch
which looked like the back
similar to my own house now
the front of the house,
originally the back,
and I was always around back
at my grandparent’s home
playing there when it wasn’t too hot
near Grandpa while he tended his garden
whether it was hot or not
he made gumbo
with the leaves and stalks
that he had tended
even though he was blind
and Grandma spoke loudly
because he was also quite deaf
(I was a little afraid of her)
I bring this up because I think
Grandma and Grandpa were here today,
and though they’d be ghosts
I wasn't afraid
I think they came to take me back
to Marshall, Texas
to visit and sit and rest for a while
because heat permeated my house
offset only by a window AC
and a ceiling fan
like me,
working overtime
and that’s like the heat
and fans in their house
so many years ago
when we were staying with them
in between moves
when mama said daddy
might have to work at the post office
if the position didn’t come through
at the V.A.
now I find myself surrounded
by packages and boxes
in between moves again
staying in a place
almost not my own 
but I sense will always part of me
like a birthright or inheritance
suddenly I smell file powder,
ice tea,
the earthy tobacco from Grandpa’s pipe
and while I’m gently being rocked
by the swish -swish gyration
of my own ceiling fan
there’s a foreign but familiar
southern-ness to it,
the summer time,
my deceased father
and forefather’s presence
I think they’re saying everything will be okay
and I realize
maybe it's just my perception of things
that I’m moving now
as I was moving then
because maybe my grandparent’s house
in Marshall, Texas
and my own
are really the same place
after all
maybe it's just our perception of things
that changes
like a whole house on a flatbed truck


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