Summer Reminiscences

Summer is finally here, and with it come so many memories.

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Riding bikes with my family around the lake at the local park and eating ice cream drumsticks afterward.

Picking a Friday night movie from the video rental store at Dillons.

Long hikes in the cool Colorado mountains every August.

Varied week-long camps, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, baking, and horse camps.

Popsicle-sticky fingers, the smell of freshly mown grass and approaching rain, heat literally radiating off the pavement.

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Somehow summer has a special way of bringing a wave of pleasantly nostalgic memories washing over me. This week I thought I’d share a poem I wrote a couple years ago that provides a glimpse of the summer I view every year out my back window.

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Kansas Summer

The hay grows thick and golden,
spreading across the sprawling, former prairie and
hiding garter snakes, bull frogs, and white-striped skunks.

Amidst the hay, black-eyed Susans and purple clover,
Queen Anne’s Lace and thorny thistle giants provide
launching pads for Monarchs, Fritillaries, and Swallowtails.

The hotheaded red-winged blackbird
rages at passers-by on the ground.
The awkward blue heron,

who came too near the blackbird’s tree,
raises his knobby knees high,
hop-step-running to escape the protective papa’s wrath.

The lake reflects the glass-blue sky; waves ripple in ridges
like a farmer’s plowed soil. My father maneuvers
a paddleboat in slow laps, fishing for bass with rainbow-speckled scales

and bluegill with sun-splotched bellies.
Nearby, a mud-sucking carp rolls lazily in the shallows,
his dorsal fin splitting the water’s surface.

The sun descends the horizon’s ladder,
sinks sleepily out of sight behind the stark, black line
of walnut, oak, and hedge apple trees,

becomes a burning ball of scarlet, gold, pink.
Flaming fingers stretch across the sky,
lighting my world with glory.

What is one of your favorite summer memories?

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