Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Lake Leanna"


Lake Leanna 

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. 

11 comments:

Kim Russell said...

Nostalgic and reminiscent, a wonderful look back at childhood summers. I love the detail, Margaret.

Jae Rose said...

Great reminiscence - always good to end with a smile

Anonymous said...

Margaret, no wonder you ended up so awesome.

Anonymous said...


Yeah we had one of these, too, where / when I come from, but ours was a wide spot in a narrow river, so not quite so muckish, but still with many of the same effects you write about so ably here. Congrats!
Re: my response over at Scrambled, Not Fried, I can only say this:

No, it’s the right link, just a totally different focus, aimed at responding (albeit loosely) to both prompts. (You’ll no doubt note that this is also not a haibun, as called for in the NaPoWriMo prompt). Admittedly, a fogged-in lily pad is a far smaller venue than Costa Rica, but it certainly still serves as a fairly good “jumping off” point, so to speak, no? After all, the prompt says, “The poems can be about Costa Rica but do not have to be. They are just a jumping off point.” A lily pad’s just a smaller island.

I’ll try harder to be more adherent in the future.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such wonderful nostalgia and reminiscence in this poem, Margaret!💞

Gillena Cox said...

Lovely poem Margaret,
Sharing a Soca Endless Summer

much love...

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, how wonderfully you have recreated it all! Reminded me of some bits of my own childhood – not identical, but not dissimilar – in Tasmania in the forties.

annell said...

Delightful childhood memories at the lake. I enjoyed reading and remembering.

L C Folks said...

Wonderful memories portrayed so beautifully. I felt as if I was there beside the crowded float scared out of my wits, life lesson learned quickly. Enjoyed every word,,,

Sherry Marr said...

I have similar memories and loved every line of this! Those summers did seem to last forever. I cant believe how fast life is now. I loved this, Margaret.

Toni Spencer said...

Fun memories. We had a river, a huge lake, the beach....but the times this reminds me of us the muddy lake that always formed after torrential rains. We kids loved splashing in it. This made me smile hugely Margaret.