Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flat on my back in the dark


Over the years we've spent many stifling hot Labor Day extended weekends at Sherwood Forest with sometimes a hundred family members and friends. We stayed in primitive cabins with bunks and no air conditioning. There was a shared bathroom/shower house, and a communal kitchen, where everyone gathered to prepare family meals for their own. Some of us would sneak into the walk-in freezer for a reprieve from the heat. But on those memorable holidays, regardless of the heat, there was always a soccer, volleyball, or baseball game going on in the open field. Kids ran freely and explored. They connected with cousins and enjoyed the sights and sounds of nature. When the kids of all ages FINALLY settled down at night, after chasing and teasing one another, everyone slept good from fresh air and exercise.


The highlight of those holiday weekends was laying stretched all across the field on our backs  at pitch dark, stargazing. Whispers rippled as someone pointed out a constellation or spied the space station. Treasured moments in time. As the kids grew up and went off to college, and families had other obligations, the holiday gathering drew less and less family and friends. Today the memory resides deep in my heart.

I wrote a poem about those days. It won a $100.00 award and will be posted on the Metro buses and Metro Link rail cars for one year. I am honored to have been one of the 14 winners selected  from over 200 poems submitted. A reception was held at Regional Arts Commission on Thursday evening.
I stood at the lectern and lost my thoughts. I mean total brain blip! I asked the audience what the holiday was in September. They looked at me like I had lost my mind.  I said, "Not Memorial Day, the other one, oh yeah, Labor Day!"  I laughed at my own brain freeze. Makes me human. Then I went on to explain what inspired me to write my poem. 


9 comments:

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--This is proof to why you're a frequent flier when it comes to winning this contest. This poem paints quite a picture.

Merlesworld said...

Reminds me of my childhood.
Merle..........

Val said...

BRAVO! I hope you can spot a bus or Metro Link car with your poem on it, and snap a picture. Not while you're driving, of course!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

What a lovely memory! My mother was not one to participate in family gatherings. We barely knew our cousins and extended families. Even though I am far away, I am so happy that my children all live close to each other and see each other often. You captured it perfectly!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Not surprising that you took home the prize, Linda. A stunning poem in both word choices and the emotions evoked. Bravo!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I just found your blog by visiting Janet's blog. Your poem is great and I'm glad you took home the prize. Family reunions are great.

Susan said...

A lovely poem, Linda. And to think it will be on the sides of buses! Oh, Claudia would have loved it. She would have congratulated you, too. Kudos! Susan

K9friend said...

Lovely poem. Congrats!

Pat
www.patwahler.com

roth phallyka said...

This poem paints quite a picture.


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