It qualified more as a mud puddle than a lake,
but we kids didn't notice or care
that sand was hauled in each year and ended at the water line.
Squishy mud greeted our toes the moment we stepped in,
quickly swam to the floating dock which wobbled back and forth
with every single neighborhood kid upon it,
perhaps doing a better job at babysitting than Mrs. Phillips
basking not only in the sun but the latest Harlequin Romance
or the gossiping mothers smoking and sipping "soft drinks"
rearranging their bathing suit straps to avoid tan lines;
shook our heads as some boys strained their eyeballs
hoping for a peek of Mrs. Blue's ample bosom.
At least they came, some moms packed a few soft drinks
in a styrofoam cooler, waved goodbye from the front door;
some provided sunblock, more often baby oil.
One day feared I'd sink beneath greenish brown depths
as there was no room upon the floating "nanny",
was sure no-one would ever notice my disappearance.
I believe that's the day I truly learned to float upon my back,
but not after a few near-death experiences.
Spent many a summer evening digging through the sand
searching for stained red cigarette butts,
hesitantly inhaling & coughing as we hid creekside below the dam.
Spied our teenage crush wooing a girl upon the beach,
giggled at the corny things he said, but in the end
he got his kiss and we all swooned.
Summer seemed to last forever in those days, but the years since
have certainly flown. I revisited Lake Leanna a while ago,
surprised to see a sign "Swim at your own risk". Had to laugh
as we always had, just no-one warned us.
by Margaret Bednar, April 12, 2018
This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Day 12 - Costa Rica photos".
and also NaPoWriMo 2018 (30 poems in 30 days)
For my Mom's sake, I need to clarify she never would have smoked, drank, or gossiped. I was always a guest of my friends - we lived on 10 acres across the street from the subdivision - my mom gardened and took care of the horses, chickens and various other animals we owned. My mom assumed we were being properly supervised.
* Mrs. Blue and Mrs. Phillisp are a made up name in order to protect the true identity of the real-life moms.
This all took place in the late 1970's - I was in grade school and enjoyed a wonderfully free-roaming childhood.