“Summertime is the time of sharpest memory.”
(Ruth Sidransky, In Silence, 1990)
As I worked on writing projects today on the back porch, I heard sounds of children playing outside. It’s August, and the new school year begins for them in a few days.
The happy sounds bouncing around in the sunshine turned my thoughts to past Summers days as a child. I remember the last days of Summer as especially sweet, as we anticipated the start of school and the end of our Summer freedom.
Sounds of Summer Evenings on West Virginia Avenue
Warm Summer evenings stir memories of sounds from long ago
evenings on West Virginia Avenue, and I listen and remember,
Chiming bells announcing the arrival of the ice cream truck,
Buzzing of a bee as it flits from flower to flower gathering pollen,
Gurgling Icy lemonade pouring from pitcher to glass, ,
Whirring clicks of the push mower cutting grass next door,
Bumping of a basketball hitting the rim and bouncing in,
Var-ooming of brother Ed playing with his toy cars,
Pattering rain outside an open window after napping,
Swishing of the water sprinkler on the front lawn,
Pounding feet on the driveway playing hopscotch,
Shouting children, “You’re it”, “My turn”, “I won”,
Rolling metallic sound of skates on the sidewalk,
Hammering by Dad who is repairing something,
Ch-chinging of the bell on the paperboy’s bike
Cracking of a ball on a bat from the vacant lot,
Chirping bird songs in the backyard trees,
Thumping on a watermelon to test ripeness,
Splashing water from the kiddie pool,
Twacking of a mallet on a crochet ball,
Barking of our dog Fluffy as he runs,
Crashing of a Summer thunderstorm,
Sizzling bacon for BLT sandwiches,
Cranking from the ice cream freezer,
Rustling of the wind in the trees,
Squeaking of the porch swing,
Slamming of the screen door,
Laughing and yelling children,
time to come in.”
Low voices talking
inside houses with lights,
at days end.
Sounds of my life
from long ago..
stored for a rainy day.
Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Sue Marquis Bishop, 2015