|The Poem (standard:romance, 3521 words)|
|Author: Annmarie||Added: Feb 17 2004||Views/Reads: 1772/1148||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Kaye Campbell's poem travels 1400 miles and over 15 years to bring back her lost love.|
THE POEM By Ann Marie Cologna Kaye Campbell drove her red Toyota into the garage. After turning off the ignition, she exited to the lingering smells of gasoline and yesterday's grass clippings emitted by the lawn mower stored there. Wearily she moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk. “I hate grocery shopping.” she thought to herself. Kaye was not a planner, and a whole week of meal planning while contending with broken carts and grumpy old men who slowly roamed the aisles of the grocery store were not her idea of an acceptable Friday night diversion. “Please help me carry the groceries to the kitchen.” she charged her eighteen-year-old daughter, Laura. Laura was a good kid and usually responsive to her mother's requests, but she also carried an aversion to grocery shopping. A groan escaped Laura's lips as she exited the car and met her mother at the trunk. While Kaye grabbed the handles of a plastic bag, Laura gazed out the garage door and down the length of the driveway. “Mom, there is a man standing at the end of our driveway and he is staring at us.” she whispered. “What?” Kaye questioned exasperated while she extracted her upper body from the trunk. As Kaye straightened herself, her eyes rested on a tall, brawny man dressed in heavy boots, jeans and a white tee shirt. His hair was the color of parched grass and his tanned skin the color of light caramel. At first Kaye stood there confused by his presence. She felt there was something familiar about the man, but she could not match his countenance to her memory. Kaye's gaze continued an upward scan and as she made contact with his blue eyes, realization caused her to drop the plastic bag she had been holding in her clenched fingers. Suddenly, she was galvanized by a fifteen year old memory of the first time she had met the stranger now standing at her driveway. His name was Stephen Brentwood. Kaye was only twenty-two and married to Scott Campbell, Laura's father. Stephen was just nineteen and they had met in Louisville, Kentucky. To understand the relationship that Kaye had with Stephen requires an understanding of the relationship Kaye had with Scott Campbell. Scott and Kaye married when she was eighteen years old. Six months later Laura was born. Shortly after her Laura's birth, Kaye returned to work as a cashier at Whitney Food Stores, a large grocery chain that dotted the mid-west and filtered just south over the Mason-Dixon Line. The pay was good, and Kaye enjoyed conversing with the steady stream of customers that rolled through her checkout. Three years later, Kaye was still conversing with those same customers. Scott, employed at the Jefferson Distilleries, had graduated from sampling the liquors at work to full-blown alcoholism. As the control over his life waned, Kaye endured waxing verbal and physical abuse. To complicate her predicament, Kaye's father was transferred to Connecticut removing the only family she had in Kentucky. She was frightened and ashamed of the marriage between her and her fear. Upon this canvas, Stephen Brentwood entered. Stephen was assigned to Kaye as a trainee, and he spent the first few weeks at the end of Kaye's checkout station bagging the groceries she placed on the conveyor. He was tall and lean with none of the bulk that is usually added to a man during his twenties. This was his first job outside of his family's farm, so Kaye became protective of her charge. Stephen, although shy, was affable and conversed easily about life on his parent's farm in Oldham County. His plans were to supplement his income by working at Whitney Foods while he took night classes at the University of Louisville to obtain a business degree. Stephen's good manners and understated confidence belied his youth, and his quiet country wisdom stood in stark contrast to the self-destruction and foolishness Kaye found at home. Marion Carrolton, the fifty-year old manager of the frozen food department had recommended Stephen for the trainee's position and as she and Stephen's parents were old friends, Marion felt a responsibility to oversee Stephen's employment. Subsequently she was Click here to read the rest of this story (286 more lines)
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