Updated: Jul 8, 2020
These pandemic days I find myself having almost too much time to reminisce, to enter the random flashes that have found niches in the crevices of my memory. A line that Tom Clausen posted with his wonderful photos yesterday caught me last night, and this morning it led me to this memory. Revisiting this time and place reminds me that although time is a sure river, and losses happen, we must gobble up each day, celebrating what we can savor along the way.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Traveling on the wind distant music chiming
from the coming ice-cream truck brings me
good humor—almond-crunch-vanilla popsicle
laughter dripping down my chin those long
gone summer evenings.
I sit on our old stone steps, eagerly waiting
for the magic man to stop in front, open the
small square door, let out a puff of frozen
smoking air, and plunge his hand in to pull
out any favorites we children clamor for.
Who are the others waiting with me in that
kingdom lost to decades now, shadowy figures
leaping on the edge of dusk? Childhood is the
kingdom where nobody dies? For some that may
be true, but sometimes they do die, you know—
pets, parents, grandparents, even classmates
here one day, gone the next. Yet in the endless
summers of that kingdom, ice-cream always
comes to us on time, promising a treat we can
savor before dark—before it can melt away.
© 2020 Penny Harter