Summers of Our Youth


Summers of Our Youth

How innocent the days were back then,
When we would go running barefoot in the lush green grass.
Whirling and twirling until we collapsed in giggles
To lay on our backs and watch the clouds spin by,
Picking out the ones that looked like elephants.
Our baby fat limbs bare and browned
By the same summer sun that turned our hair
To silken strands of silver and gold
Sometimes, when mom could come along,
We would go down to Smiley's brook
We would splash our feet in the cool clear waters
And listen to the happy song it sang
As it bubbled  its way past the old wooden bridge
To empty into a deep quiet pool on the other side.
Grampa and Daddy would fish there,
Swapping remembrances and flicking away flies.
Grampa always smoked his pipe and Daddy would doze in the warm sun.
Poor Gramma always stayed behind
Slaving in her hot old kitchen.
She would prepare a feast for the return of the hungry tribe.
Somehow, she never seemed to mind.
There would be sweet summer beans and golden corn;
tiny taters too, harvested fresh from the garden.
But we always saved room, the best was always last
... dessert.
Sun ripened berries on top of Gramma's home made vanilla ice cream
made rich and thick with crunchy bits of ice all through it
After dinner, with fat little bellies we would romp and play.
Till called for the evening bath.
The old galvanized wash tub would be waiting for us
standing in front of the ancient wood stove.
Sometimes we would bathe alone,
Sometimes with siblings or cousins.
At last squeaky clean and shining.
smelling of Johnson' baby shampoo
We would be hustled into pajamas and 
be allowed to sit on Grampa's knee out in the screened in veranda.
As dusk descended we watched the dance of the fireflies,
Until the land of nod came to make our lids heavy with sleep,
and we were carried off to dreamland
to sleep the sleep of angels.


ęD.W.Rickard 2001