My Mother Walked to John Story Jenks School by Lois Perch Villemaire

My Mother Walked to John Story Jenks School

I could be stepping in her footprints
as I navigate the crooked sidewalks
on the same route to school
my mother skipped along in her
charming hometown where
I have chosen to spend the weekend
celebrating my birthday.

I gaze into the August sky
at the building constructed in 1923,
the same year my mother was born,
this Late Gothic Revival,
three-story yellow brick façade, with
cement steps, stonewalls, and
unique architectural features
hidden by towering trees.

She would be delighted to find me here
admiring the nearby historic water tower.
My mother— running late even as a child,
dashing through the neighborhood,
carrying a book bag, a sweater,
curly hair tangled by the wind,
her footprints can be found all over town.


Lois Perch Villemaire, originally from the Philadelphia area, is a longtime resident of Annapolis, MD where she is inspired by the charm of a colonial town and the glorious Chesapeake Bay. After retirement from a career in local government, she concentrated on her love of writing. Dabbling in family research has inspired poetry, memoir, and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a number of journals such as Ekphrastic Review, Flora Fiction, and One Art: A Journal of Poetry, and has been included in several anthologies. Lois was a finalist in the 2021 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry. She enjoys yoga practice, amateur photography, and raising African violets.

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