Once, Was Summer

Meet me by the tree, the one from my youth
Days spent climbing, swinging, longing, dreaming
Yellow Jackets and an occasional sting
Long summer days that never seem to end
Fireflies dancing, leading my way home
Bike rides and paper route
I kissed someone once, for the first time
I wonder if she remembers me
Cornfields on one side, apple trees on the other
I never liked baseball, but played anyway
Because that’s what we did back then
With summer days
Down by the river, the current took its toll
Those black waters could swallow anything
Including that moment, the last of my innocence
Sure, there were more days, but it wasn’t the same
The fields burned, the trees bore blackened fruit
Someone stole my bike, days grew shorter
And that tree, now looks so small
No need to climb anymore, I could reach up
Touch the top if I wanted to
But can’t think of a single reason
Why I should


  1. A wonderfully evocative and lyrical look back at those halcyon days of youth, and then you intrigue us with a darker turn. There’s another film here, River. You’ll have to write a sequel to this anyway River, I want to know more! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ahh such wonderful nostalgia of bygone days! I wonder how many of us have a special tree or trees that features vividly in our childhoods? I have several, but remember the one with a thick rope tied to a large bough. We’d take it in turns to swing over an old deep Second World War bomb crater (or so I was told) for hours..or so it seemed!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Luckily, it was many years after the war that we played there, River. The late 1960’s early 1970’s so it was covered in grass/mud & trees..the perfect haven for children to play. I’m pretty sure it had been part of parkland already, so no damage to housing or people, as far as I know, thankfully.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I wish I could articulate, in this moment, the swirl of emotions and thoughts this brought to me. Suffice it for now to say, this is wonderful. Those last lines are actually what is really holding my attention. The backdrop set before us and then those last lines…. have got me thinking too deeply to even express myself properly right now. So good, River. So, so very good.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m not sure how you’ll receive this—and to clarify I didn’t read anything I couldn’t love in this poem—-its only a suggestion about doing something that delves more into the simplicity; like more examples of events-such as the one about stolen bikes. I know you’re smarter than to take affront- so I’m risking sounding stupid here. 😬

    Liked by 3 people

  5. To be honest, I have never been a fan of poetry. I hated trying to figure out what the author was saying. I like things in black and white. One plus one equals 2, that’s it! However, your writing just stirs up so many memories and pictures in my mind. I am transported to another place and time. I love that. When I read a good novel I am like an invisible character quietly observing what is happening around me. I am right there in the book. I feel the same when I read your poetry. Thank you for that. Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this comment. I agree, certain poetry can be exhausting to read. The fact you can enjoy my work means a lot to me. Thank you.


  6. The tree that stood tall and proud once is reduced to a mere stump. The changing face of the world…leaves us with nothing. Even our innocence is robbed by this poisoned world…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting I played baseball too in my youth and because my father worked all the time and could never attend games, I’d call him after and lie about the hits I’d had, though I wasn’t very good so hardly had any. I gave him this false sense of myself out of fear or his disapproval which now is clear, no matter would have been disapproved regardless. Your depth of voice is giving me inspiration, even if it’s just in a weird nostalgic comment. Keep Up and I look forward to reading your recent published work.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love your poem, River. It’s like a time capsule, the past is so dream-like beautiful. I think the X generation was the last generation of being naturally human before the tech invasion of our souls.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It feels like everything inverted or went inside out, the world is nearly unrecognizable to me from when I was growing up in the 80s. The techies want the Singularity and they’re making it a reality.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I think we felt that we would still be children, just with a lot more freedom to “be.” No one tells you that adulthood comes with a loss of innocence and its one of life’s greatest tragedies.

        Liked by 2 people

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