Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer (alone with kids)

DSC01175Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer
(alone with kids)

We lay outside
even as night fell
and this was kale
for my whole life–something

the sky turning deep greens
to violet,
the way that summer evenings are
inviolate, an inked imprint of yes,
I voted for this–

I may have even
read aloud a teeny bit, squinting,
as we drank last year’s lemonade–all that was left
in the freezer, and
ate, delightedly, popcorn made from a jar found
in the pantry, a bottle bobbing
at sea–

Not even that dusk’s aura ever
actually leaves–our blanket, a comforter (you know, stitched)–
and big enough (you two knit
to my sides),
to fit the smocking
of stars above,
to shield us
from the blades

which felt so cold
to our bare feet, when, at last,
we ran in through the
long dewed grass,
though we laughed, laughed–

A poem for my own prompt on Real Toads about something real (expressed with some artifice); the pic is of a sculpture by Picasso from the show currently at MOMA; I do not know the title, photo by me. 

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22 Comments on “Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer (alone with kids)”

  1. Polly Says:

    Delightful, k.

    • Jim Says:

      It’s REAL to me. Now the artifice, or farce. I wouldn’t know.
      Will you grade me, please. Artifice? It’s preposterous, that’s for sure, but it might be completely true.


  2. You took me there with popcorn and lemonade. I felt the freshness and the way you only see the world as a child. Maybe it’s the way we need to look at art too… Maybe that’s why art I saw when young has stayed in my mind, when it has not been viewed through a veil of analysis..

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    This really has that feel of deliberate simplicity that one gets with cummings (and certain of these sculptures) –where the words are purposeful but also playful in the way they fall and the images they choose–which seems to make the images more clearly visible and strong. Here the sense of life extending around one, full of small pleasures that become the weave of happiness in a life makes this satisfyingly real under its ribbons–really a pleasure to read. Perfect pic, too.

  4. kaykuala h Says:

    which felt so cold
    to our bare feet

    Artifice for all of its pretences can be just as real. One can feel the realities of the cold bare feet


  5. which felt so cold
    to our bare feet

    Artifice for all of its pretences can be just as real. One can feel the realities of the cold bare feet


  6. Mama Zen Says:

    for my whole life

    I just adore that!

  7. I’m in love with this one. Something about the kale (which I like to devour) and the same colored sky. Last year’s lemonade, something nourishing, the smocked stars, kids knit at your sides. A deep sense of home, even though you were traveling to the country. One of my favorites from you.

  8. Bekkie Says:

    Summer nights as a kid were just like that! Something truly magical. Thanks for all the warm memories this dredged up.

  9. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Such a finely-wrought poem built on memory. Your authentic voice shines through. I find it to be a tender piece of writing, that moment of true companionship.

  10. coalblack Says:

    Thanks for this and for a very interesting challenge to work from.

  11. children as kale … beneath the stars bundled in quilts. This just send warmth all through me.

  12. This is so natural. The flow makes me feel like we’re having a conversation!

  13. Helen Dehner Says:

    Your poem filled me up ~ in a most delightful way ~ A great challenge!

  14. This poem causes me to be hungry for summer joy and the joy of authentic connection…so beautiful and marvelously paired with the Picasso! Thank you, for this poem and the challenge!!

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