Lost Summers of my Youth
The sweetness of summer, falling from trees /
ripe / soft / luscious dreams of forever.
We were the ones who begged at street corners,
never bowing our heads. Church baskets on
back porches / filled with tomorrow’s hope.
Steaming blacktop and tar / strong
odors of everyday life. Mama worked 2 jobs /
we lived by latchkey. Freedom / a timeless
concept, it wafted above the gray steam. Ice
Cream Truck songs calling to youthful joy / with
never a dime for a cone. Bookmobiles carrying
wonderous worlds of fantasy / we lived for Saturday
afternoons. Looking back – to be poor was to be rich.
We needed so little / we wanted so much.
Hand-me-down lives that reached for the stars.
Summer will never be the same.
The ocean bore her seven times, upon its rolling spine.
Storms could not unfold her / a sister to the angry waves.
She lived ninety-seven years among the clouds, not
knowing how to rain. Decades carried buckets, waiting
for a tear. She was too stubborn to cry. I remember
furrowed brow / deep valleys east to west. Determined,
she would not cleave. Three children lost, two survived.
Yet, one would take his life. She was stone & iron. She
could not be broken / refused to rust. There was a time
when she was soft, before I held her hand. Her stories
nourished my need. She gave what she could not receive.
I watched her brow soften as she knelt to say goodbye.
A lifetime of tears flooded out to wash away the pain.
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020 and 2021, published by Sweetycat Press. She is the author of 15 poetry books, and 1 short story book. She lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: Eclipse Lit, Carolina Muse, Sparks of Calliope; The Closed Eye Open, North Dakota Quarterly, Tangled Locks Journal, Wild Roof Journal, The American Writers Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Silver Blade, Pomona Valley Review, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Fourth & Sycamore.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)
Image: Svln4821, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons