July 1, 2022

A writing prompt from James Crews inspired this small poem. It is an early draft of a memory that has come often to me in recent weeks. Perhaps a longing for a more innocent world is the ground these words rest on.


Summers before air conditioning
slowed down time.
I sat on the hot pavement,
careful not to burn my bare legs.
I wore my short red sunsuit and
navy blue KEDS (you know the ones
with the square rubber toes).
Too hot to play,
we spent hours popping the black tar bubbles
that only emerged on the hottest days.
“Pffft,” they popped, a sound
so satisfying to my four-year old ears
listening for the popsicle man.

I hope your summer has some lazy days to just be.

Thank you to all the Poetry Friday Poets and to Janice Scully at Salt City Verse for the Poetry Round-up today.

6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday

  1. This poem of yours brings back a lot of great memories. Summer when it was hot and slow, playing in the creek, and listening for the ice cream truck! Endless days was riding my bike was the only thing I needed to do, singing songs from the Partridge Family as I went round and round between my neighbor’s driveway and ours. Thanks!

  2. At the age of four I was still too young for Red Cross swimming lessons, but my friends who had turned five were taking lessons, so mom bought me private lessons. And from then on, summer meant swimming pool. Just this week I wondered what I would have become if I hadn’t spent every summer at the pool?

  3. I’ve grown up in hot, hot weather long ago, of course no AC but have never heard of popping tar bubbles. You’ve set the summer tone well, Marilyn! Good memory but I hope it stays just that, a memory! Have a lovely rest of the holiday weekend!

  4. Wow, this is so sensory and vivid. It’s like I’m right there. I grew up in Florida (HATED the heat), and I remember a gazillion sweltering days…but I don’t think I ever popped a tar bubble…

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