Sunday, October 28, 2012

Poetic Bloomings: Hang out

Shannon Creek Park

Hidden in a wooded valley, Shannon Creek Park.
A hand-drawn swimsuit-clad woman welcomed you
and on occasions, a country band played.
Pappap owned the park, but my parents ran the place—
Pavilions (one red and one blue shingled on each side of the creek),
log coke stand, two outhouses, softball field, horseshoe pit,
swing set, swimming hole and fishing dam, where my sis fell in.
"Dad got her out before she got wet," they exaggerated a bit

The coke stand housed a cooler for pop: cola, rootbeer,
orange, cherry, grape  and a freezer for ice cream treats:
Captain Crunch, Nutty Buddies and five-cent Popcicles.
I’d play with ridged bottle caps as Mum waited on customers
and follow her along as she cleaned the outhouses.
The boys’ rest room was a rustic one-seater, and across the way
the girls’ was a solidly built two-seater with a dressing room.
In the creek, I splashed around with new playmates each day.

I was about six when the park closed, the swim hole drained,
leaving the little creek to run through freely.
A stranger bought the land with the dam and built a house.
We girls claimed the large outhouse, poured lime down the holes,
turned the two-seater into a couch and tore out the partition.
We did odd-jobs around the neighborhood to fund our band,
The Sunflowers. We put on plays, crocheted crafts,
and played pretend games on the abandoned land.

When we got older, it still served as a hang out.
We’d push each other in the creek and discovered who liked who.
We took long walks with our boyfriends
or found cozy corners in the pavilions or the coke stand.
During moody times, I’d go up to that quiet place
sit on the bridge and watch the water rush past.
At the park, we worked, played, celebrated, discovered,
making many memories that would last.  

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