Young In The Summer Swampland Sun

This poem is about my childhood during summer in the swamps of the borough I grew up in. Punks are used as an insect repellent and honeysuckles are edible ❤ To this day I eat one of the honeysuckle flowers if I am lucky enough to pass by one.

Young in the Summer Swampland Sun, a poem by Drem

June 21, 2016

“Blue skies feel golden

from the sun above the

cracked and dangerous old pavement

we walk along

looking for something

to do today.

Let’s sell the tiny flowers

that grow around the corner.

Tie ribbons around them

to create tiny bouquets

that the neighborhood

teenage boys can buy

for their sweet summer dames.

Then, lets’s go off path.

Wander around.

Get our feet muddy

as we try to avoid

the sections of grass

that have turned into pudding-

the soup can easily swallow us whole!

I mean, swallow us up to our knees.

No, okay, ankles.

We can hop around,

finding refuge on fallen trees.

And then run away

from the stink

of the skunk weed.

It suffocates the air

and makes the willow trees weep.

Holding our noses,

tripping over the roots

of old trees,

junkie needles,

and knotted weeds,

we race for our life.

And by now the sweat

makes it look like we

were in the sprinklers.

…Summer swamp life isn’t

necessarily pretty.

But it’s the only way we know how to live.

Deep in,

at our secret spot

we’d stop

at the wild honeysuckle bushes

to have our flowers for lunch

and afterwards we will cut some punks.

At least enough to last us the night.

Throw them in a bucket.

Maybe a dozen of them.

Give a few each to the mothers,

who smile when they get them

even though they were expecting our salvage.

They ceremoniously flick their lighter

every evening

to set the plants aglow.

The smoke creates a blanket around us

that tells the mosquitos to go home.

It’s like we’re BBQing in an ocean

with this terrible humidity.

But at least there’s no mosquitos

thanks to our heroic deeds.

Everyone will be proud of us.

Everyone will eat.

And we’ll do this again tomorrow,

starting along

with our friends

under those blue skies

that feel golden.”


(C) Drem 2016




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