Summer in a Country Town by Eileen Dawson Peterson

Summer Poems Every Day Poems 0


Summer in a Country Town

(in memory of Sisseton, SD)

by Eileen Dawson Peterson


I remember
rain barrels
the round sound
when several friends hung their heads
deep inside and hollered
and hollered until the echoing voices
sounded like a crowd shouting
back at you;
the hollow whisper
of my brother calling through
the rainspout on the roof
into my ear at the other end
on the ground.
the shrill call, “Ally, Ally, Over”
as the ball came sailing over the rooftop.
the thrum of baseball cards pinned
to my brother’s bicycle spokes as he raced by;

the acrid sweet odor of
creosote when the sun unrelentingly
sizzled tarpaper roofs of garden sheds;
the hot pungent smell of tar oozing
out of the asphalt where road crews
patched cracks and potholes in the road;
the acid taste of tarbabies left behind
that we chewed on a dare to our parent’s dismay
the lusty rotting scent of fallen apples;
mustiness of freshly turned garden earth;
lilacs and peonies perfuming the air on the front porch;
burnt sugar from Gunderson’s kitchen
where Tuby’s Mom would be baking her specialty cake;

the tartness of spring’s first rhubarb ribs
twisted without permission from the ground;
that special taste of gooseberries picked green in summer
ripe in fall from the bushes surrounding the schoolyard;

I remember
all the sounds smells tastes that made
growing up in a small country town special.

Eileen Dawson Peterson (2011)