Posts Tagged ‘purple creek’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Every summer I look forward to Kate Messner’s Teachers Write virtual writing camp. The first week is this week. Kate invites us to go outside and reflect on a time when we felt fully whole. I went outside and ended up weeding a flower bed. It wasn’t too hot, and for a minute, it wasn’t raining. I had a “clunker” line from Linda Mitchell to work with. “August was long of light.” There was a time when we didn’t start school in August, and it felt like summer would go on and on.

Mississippi Heat Wave

August was long of light
in a Mississippi heat wave that summer of ‘72.
On the path to Purple Creek,
my flip-flops kept the stickers away
and mosquitos preferred Missy’s freckle-juice.
Covered in Off and Coppertone, we’d hold hands
to cross the waterfall, tip-toe trickle over a concrete slab.
On the other side was an endless pine forest. We’d walk
the path of dirt bikes, side-stepping ruts in the muddy red clay.
Avoiding under-the-bridge where the smoking kids hung out,
we’d wander to the stables, pick out a favorite horse, pretend they were ours.
Endless summer days
stretched out like a Gulf Coast beach
burned our tender noses,
streaked our blonde hair,
became a backdrop to childhood memories.

Margaret Simon, draft
Pine forest in Mississippi, photo by Margaret Simon

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Catching up on the 30 Day Poetry Challenge:

Day 19: Imagine yourself performing any household task/chore, then write a poem using what you’ve imagined as an extended metaphor for writing: an Ars Poetica.

Ars Poetica on a Stained Shirt

Coffee spilled on my shirt,
early morning stain
I’d wear all day.
Cover it with a cardigan,
hidden and unnoticed.
launder clean
fresh and new.

Poem spills out on my notebook page,
early morning musings
I’d think about all day.
Scratch out words,
with revision.
Type onto a clean page
here for you.

Day 20: Write a narrative poem detailing a specific childhood memory.

Growing up Beside Purple Creek

A concrete slab becomes a waterfall.

A tree is a cabin in the woods.

Dirt-filled lots are caves for dolls.

A trampoline tarp makes an acrobat’s stage.

We put on another play for the neighbors in the garage.

Listen for the whippoorwill to call us home for supper.

Come home, come home, come home!

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