Thursday, May 31, 2018

Summer Senses

              Welcome, June and Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog! Thanks, Buffy, for our welcome to a summer month!

          Memories from the senses appear without invitation. Watching the grand-girls climbing a tree perches me in my own tree in a grandparents' backyard where I spent summer days reading after dragging an old pillow up to a limb. A grandpa mows along with me as I push my little mower, listening to its whirr, whirr, whirr. There is no sound I know like it. 
          This poem arrived from a taste, a summer afternoon treat at a grandparents' home where I visited each summer through most of my growing-up years.  That taste of Pepsi let the words pour!

Pepsi Time

Let me be transformed, if only for a while.
I drink my Pepsi and become a little girl again.

On the farm, humidity hovers,
insects surround - showing off,
helping.
Swing, sit and sip
one icy glass under the elm.
The afternoon pauses,
waits for the evening cool.
I escape upstairs to the spare room of stories,
for The Saturday Evening Post,
a gift saved for me all year,
that magazine of good fiction
I read once in a while now,
but only online.

Newsprint smells welcome
and I turn the pages with a clip, flip.
I settle and sigh,
satisfied that nothing has changed.  
For this summer month,
I live my child's life—
nothing to harm me,
no worries around me.

They love me,
daughter of their 
lost son.
And feed me biscuits
and stars
                 and Pepsi.

Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved

37 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing how something like the taste of Pepsi can bring back memories? Love the phrase "spare room of stories." And your last stanza is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks, Buffy, my time there was idyllic, holds so many good memories. And yes, one taste, one smell, one sound and back one goes.

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  2. I love your last stanza Linda, it feels so safe and secure as if summer is wrapping warm sunshine around the little girl. Thanks for this rich summer snapshot, captured in time!

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. That time was a favorite part of my childhood, brought back every summer it seems.

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  3. The swing, sit, sip, clip, flip, settle, sigh....all bring me right there. I feel like I am with you. But those words lost son and feed me stars.....that adds quite another layer of emotion and depth. This is a perfect Memorial Day reflection. When did you write it?

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I've written similar poems about this time with those grandparents, but mostly written other memories in prose. This time, I put parts into the poem.

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  4. This is lovely, Linda. Tangible details that conjure a sweet memory.

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  5. What rich and specific memories. Lucky you to have had these times with your grandparents.

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    1. Yes, I did feel lucky to have continued to have that part of my family in my life. Thanks, Mary Lee.

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  6. Just beautiful! It's those little things like Pepsi that take you back, isn't it. Though as an adult I certainly don't condone or support the rag magazines at the check out, they bring back a happy memory from childhood. One of my favorite aunts kept a stack of National Enquirers on her coffee table. She was older and didn't have children, so whenever I visited, she would sit me down and share the latest issue with me. I loved reading about the stars I had seen in movies and on tv. Of course I had no idea that most of what I read was false, but it was a sweet time with Aunt Helen :)

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    1. Love that memory, Kimberly. Whether we agree with the "thing" or not, like that magazine, I'm sure when you see it, you see your Aunt Helen. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Isn't it funny what tastes and sounds can bring back? The smell of lilies of the valley always makes me think of my grandmother, who grew them in her yard. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Yes, it works and it is a wonderful thing, JoAnn. I have lilies of the valley, too, but no real memories except now I know that my daughter loves them, so that's a new one. Thanks!

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  8. What a lovely poem, Linda -- you've captured the memories of your summer childhood so beautifully. I love that feeling of safety and all is right with the world you expressed so well being in your grandparents'home (how wonderful to have a spare room of stories).

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    1. Thank you, Jama. They had a huge home and that spare bedroom upstairs was like a big closet & filled with magazines like the Post and one comfy sofa!

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  9. *goosebumps* Your poem makes me feel like I was under the elm sipping with you, Linda. (I drank Pepsi as a child, too. =)

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    1. I grew up thinking Pepsi was a rural thing. Don't know if it's true, but remains a memory for me. My aunt, a farm wife, drank it, too. Thanks, Bridget.

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  10. My grandmother drank Tab. The taste and the fizz in my nose remind me of her. Do they even make Tab anymore? Thanks for the memory.

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    1. I'm not sure about Tab, maybe? I'm glad you know what I mean about taste. The memory doesn't fade. Thanks, Margaret.

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  11. This poem paints such a marvelous multi-sensory picture, Linda, from the taste of the Pepsi and touch of the icy glass to the smell of the newsprint, etc. Thanks for sharing it with us, and for stopping by at our TeachingAuthors blog today, too. Happy June to you, too!

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    1. Thanks, Carmela, those senses connect always, don't they? I was glad to read your post today, all those connections!

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  12. You made me verklempt, Linda. I remember opening a bottle of ice cold Coke and hearing the fizz and living the effervescence.

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    1. Love it, makes me smile! Thanks, Diane!

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  13. Oh, Linda, how I love that last sentence!
    And feed me biscuits
    and stars
    and Pepsi."
    I love how it was such a serene place for you. How they must have loved you and yearned that their son could have watched you grow up.!

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    1. Thanks, Ramona. As I grew older, they did talk about my father more, and that was nice. Now I wish I could go back and ask more!

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  14. Such special memories. Makes me wish I had a close relationship with my grandparents. I love "The afternoon pauses,/waits for the evening cool." That's exactly the feeling your poem gives me. And that last stanza... ahhh.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I was close to my maternal grandparents, too, and these summer weeks were special.

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  15. A lovely memory, so peaceful and sweet. The magic is in the details.

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  16. They fed you stars. What a gorgeous poem, Linda - your writing is just sparkling these days. This took me right back to my grandmother's house down a dusty road in Arkansas - summer visits where we'd walk to the little store to fetch something cold from the big, white, rounded cooler in the back. Pretty sure there was a Dr. Pepper sign hanging up somewhere, though I've never been a fan - but other kinds of colas, yes!

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    1. Thanks, Robyn. This was special to write. I love hearing your memory, too, those dusty roads! You made me smile about that big cooler. I remember those well. When I took my students to Mexico, they saw them, most for the first time. And had to learn how to use the bottle cap remover on the corner! Much fun!

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  17. Such lovely memories you've spun into a gorgeous poem from just a sip of Pepsi. That ending is simply beautiful--I love that the fed you biscuits and stars and Pepsi.

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    1. Thanks, Kay. Each of those three are discrete memories. Maybe I need another couple of poems?

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  18. I love how the poem comes full circle in the end, the imagery, the taste of Pepsi, the sense of comfort - all fully embodied in this poem with a scent of nostalgia. Thanks for sharing this, dear Linda. - Myra (GatheringBooks)

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  19. The elm caught me - remembering back to hot afternoons of picnics in the backyard sitting under the elm, next to the two old apple trees. Hardly an elm survived. But what a grand tree! Wonderful memories with just the right words to wrap it.

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  20. Thanks, Myra and Donna. Somehow I missed these because we no longer get notified about comments. I appreciate that you enjoyed the poem. Yes, the elms were a sad loss, I agree, Donna.

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