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Day 5: Crush

June 6, 2013



Plunging my scrawny arm
down deep into the ice water
inside the rusty red drink chest,
pulling up the cold Orange Crush,
I knew summer had arrived,
as sure as swimming holes
and early morning fishermen
floating along the creek bank
casting their lines into the weeds.
The first breath-taking swallow
of that sweet Southern nectar
surely tasted better to me
than the finest wine, tasted
like home, eating outdoors
on redwood tables, careful
not to scoot for fear of splinters.
Even the yellow jackets,
dive bombing for a taste,
swatted away, could not spoil
the moment, as I sat surrounded
by dozens of folks, not sure
where the line was drawn
between close kin and friends,
and not even caring. My feet,
still tender, not yet callused
from days running barefoot
in gravel, over pine cones,
longed to dangle off the dock,
shooing away the bream and stripes
circling just below the surface.
Soon the water will turn as warm
as bathwater, but now, I jump in
and almost lose my breath
in a creek as cold as my first
of the summer Orange Crush.

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