Writings and Witterings

No Creosote


In the potting shed
the scent of ancient creosote
wafts in heavy summer heat.
Years of grandpa, pipe in mouth,
leaning against the wall
as grandma wielded the black
brush and yelled,

‘Get back you
kids,’ followed by her gap-tooth grin.

She lives in the still-
standing walls…
no creosote now.

Polly Stretton © 2018

First published on this blog in 2014, this is a revised version – last week’s heat put me in mind of it.

Potting shed


20 thoughts on “No Creosote

  1. Nice one! I remember this one.


  2. Wonderful, Polly. Of course, now I’m wondering about the health effects grandpa and grandma suffered from chronic creosote exposure. 😉


    • The thing that always occurs to me, is that grandpa and grandma were soooooo old, so very, very old… and seemed to go on forever…at least, mine did to me, even though my grandpa went at only 70ish, grandma survived well into her 80’s in fact she outlived my mother. Maybe it’s always like that for small children – but what memories, ‘eh? 😀


  3. Very heartwarming words. You painted a lovely picture.


  4. Largely invented, I confess, but I enjoyed basing the characters on those I knew 🙂


  5. Oh this is superb Polly! I absolutely love it. I keep coming back and re-reading. You are so good at creating vivid images of life. I could smell this one and you seem to have written a long story in very few lines which I guess is the skill of a good poet! X


    • I don’t think I’ll ever forget the smell of creosote, there’s nothing quite like it any more. Glad you enjoyed it Christine 🙂 x


  6. Love the feel of this on the lips,….grandpa, pipe in mouth…


  7. Memories, a gift that goes on giving… the good ones that is. Charming Polly, real or not!


  8. What a smashing picture painted on my mind. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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