Story # 361 C
By Stephanie Bartlett
Or was it # 259 B?
Favourite stories told to cousins
by our parents- calling out numbers
was part of the fabric
we wove together around
the table which sat 4 or 24, depending.
We younger ones didn’t know
our elders except through
stories. Told. Retold.
Again and again.
Held close by warm wood
walls, crackling fire reflected on windows,
adding punctuation to loud,
animated conversation, a hush
shimmers as she begins to talk.
Interrupted by mock outrage
“Here we go again.”
“I think that is the wrong number!”
Then hush again as we listen. To grasp
a small memory, a shiny stone
to add to the collection. Just ordinary stories.
Is there such a thing? Small snapshots
to breathe life
into those who gave us our common
meeting spot where we still gather.
And this here is the story.
Of family. It isn’t just
another number. That we tell it IS
the story. That we gather to
listen. Retell. Again and again.