Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another special find

I have discovered another treasure inside one the plastic storage containers. It is good to find forgotten things, stoke those times that were good, or not so good. These items remind us who we are, why we are. I distinctly remember the Garcia boxes, but not this one, the Antonio y Cleopatra. I could even give the poem a new title. Perhaps my grandfather's old boxes wore out, collapsed from lack of money. I am sure he gave this to me, although I do not remember the moment or the conversation. But, today, my memory is freshened, filled with other special times we had.

Garcia y Vega

There was an incredible simplicity to his business
accounting. A pair of Garcia y Vega cigar boxes,
one marked In, the other Out. The colorful lids belied
the raw, red hands, purple thumbs, toothpick-sized
splinters and fierce labor of pole barn construction.

Bad weather provided no excuse to stay home. Holes
were augured in frozen ground or dug by hand when
the tractor broke down. We slogged through Super Glue
mud that gripped boots, ran for the truck when lightning
sizzled the air and skated on clay slick as glycerin on glass.

Friday afternoon grungy guys gathered round the kitchen
table as pay was doled out, slowly revealing a white bottom
in the box. Someone rolled his bills and clenched them
between his teeth, “Ain’t nothing like a fat green stogie!”
We roared, ignoring the dissipating aroma of success.

It was the dwindling In and the profusely bleeding Out
that allowed me to obtain the grants to go to college.
Years later, when antique cigar boxes became the rage
of collectors, the boxes seemed to hold more value than
my grandfather’s pole barn business ever did achieve.


  1. I love your writings about mom and dad!!!

  2. OMG! i still have Grandpa's cigar boxes in the basement. Dutch Masters filled with tacks, screws and puzzling flotsam.