My father built this little Homasote clubhouse when we were young. It had a front porch, a tile floor and a real double-hung mini (showroom sample) window in the back.
He named it "After You" and even hung a small professionally lettered sign with the name inscribed on it.
My dad never played baseball or catch with me and rarely said "I love you" - but he spent so much time with us and for us.
The clubhouse is gone, that picnic table in the foreground is gone and I am probably older now than he was when he built the clubhouse, but I still clearly remember the color of the floor and the smell inside the walls.
* * *
* maggie and millie and molly and may
maggie and millie and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and
millie befriended a stranded star
who's rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea.
~ e.e. cummings