CARDBOARD DOJO MEMOIR

(Dedicated to JPH, BMR & MAR)

*scroll down for a YouTube video

Lived in a shack
On the railroad track
With a windmill on
An old shed roof
And we had two tiny chickens
And we ate tiny eggs
And we had my two sons
And like the CSN* song
Two cats in the yard
With loads of herbs
But the best part
Was taking karate
In our 40s
With my teenagers
Tae Kwon Do
Oom Yung Do
Bushido
Three different stages
Made it one stripe away
From a brown belt
But the best
Was living and practicing in
The Cardboard Dojo
JP hauled in his red Ford Ranger
About a hundred empty cartons
That once held desks
For the school where he worked
As the gardener and groundsman
He nailed them into the moldy walls
Of the falling down living room
And we practiced
Counting to ten in Japanese
Fist fighting the air
Side-kicking with flair
Then doing our katas
As seriously as a ballerina
Preparing for Swan Lake
Most days now
JP spends in a power chair
And me?
I just smile
Because after a while
I can hear the voices of my sons
The meow of the cats
The clucking of the chicks
And yes, the sigh of the herbs
Reaching up to the Florida sun
In a garden that was once graced
By a double rainbow interlaced
In a garden on 20th Street
In Zephyrhills, Florida
So many years ago…

(c) 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: JP & CS with chicks by the RR track shack

*CSN = Crosby, Stills & Nash YouTube Video “Our House”

CS Z-hills 1993