The Black & White Poet

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Eight

I miss the summers when I was a child
mom and dad took us to places like the Wisconsin Dells
and it seemed so fantastic
My little sister and I didn't know what the Bahamas where
We didn't know anything better existed, necessarily
And what we did know, never hindered our excitement
And it never tainted our uncontrollable laughter
Immature, unaware of what the world really consist of
And because we knew no evil, we only thought about jumping beans
-and other ridiculous nonsense
We never realized the poor value of thirty bucks
Saved up over a period of two or three months
We felt we had enough to buy one of every  trinket
in every souvenir shop
and we did-
along with fresh water shells found along the shores of lake Michigan
and postcards that we never mailed to our grandparents or friends

When I was eight, one summer,
Dad and mom took us to the water park
and I almost drowned
I tried to walk across the tubes that floated in the water
(like all the other kids)
but I fell off them and doggy-paddled for my life
mom kept reaching out her hands
telling me to come closer, and that I knew how to swim
but I kept screaming that I didn't know,
and that I was gonna die
I looked for the teenage lifeguards over the water
but they were too occupied with girls and whistles
So, dad, fully clothed, scared? (I'll never know)
took off his shoes only
and dived in like a champ
He securely guided me back to the edge of the pool
and out.
I was humiliated, ashamed, and amazed

Today I often experience similar occasions
and my mother reaches out her hands
telling me to come closer, and that I know how to swim
but I keep screaming that I don't know
and that I'm gonna die
 my father finds his wallet along with words of wisdom
and securely guides me back to the edge of the pool
and out.
And I continue to be humiliated, ashamed, and amazed
Wishing I could just go back to the Dells and be eight again

-DL 2010


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Eight