I wrote my poem Summer Haze last spring as an ode to my childhood in Somerville, Massachusetts. Raised in the Mystic Housing Projects as a child, I spent summer days playing outside from morning till night.
Fueled largely by free lunches delivered to our neighborhood. I had no clue as a child it was charity. I relished the convenience of not having to leave the parking lot where I played. And the free lunches always had chocolate milk!
We lived in a third-floor apartment and I didn’t even know what air conditioning was. Summers in the eighties were hot and humid, and I recall drinking in the moist air when it rained. We called them sun showers. The large raindrops splashed off hot rooftops, as depicted in my poem. I can still smell the rain.
Steam rose from the hot concrete. My friends and I played in the puddles that quickly became warm in the sun. The warm puddles felt soothing on my bare feet.
Richie’s slush truck visited the Mystics daily. He’d drive up, jump out of the driver’s seat, then open the back filled with white tubs of Italian ice. My favorite is still watermelon. Ma loved lemon. I think it’s still her favorite, too. Cooling down with delicious slushies is a fond childhood memory.
My mother put change in a small plastic baggie, if we had one. She’d drop the bag out the window after I yelled up to her asking for a slushie, “Ma, ma! The slush truck is here! Can I get one?”
If we didn’t have a baggie, she’d just toss change out the window! Richie’s truck didn’t waste time, and I rarely had time to run up two long flights of stairs to get the money.
The coins bounced off the concrete scattering, and I’d chase them down. I remember the immense relieve when my hands held my watermelon slushie. It tasted amazing in the blazing summer heat.
Summer Haze will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’m grateful to have a beautiful quality canvas, thanks to Canvas HQ, to showcase the poem.
Summer Haze Canvas Contest
In honor of Summer Haze, I’m having a seven-day writing contest. The winner will receive a canvas (same size as mine)! Keep reading!
Write a short piece (poetry or prose) about home. Write something that inspires thoughts of home through your eyes. It can be a new sense of home and belonging, or fond nostalgic memories.
Share your piece on Instagram using the hashtags #evepoetrycontest and #canvashq. Deadline is October 31, 2019.
Visit the contest post on Instagram. Like the post and tag two friends in the comments to qualify.
I’ll announce the winner on November 2nd.
I’ll announce the winner on November 2nd on Instagram. The prize canvas is the size shown in the photo of Summer Haze on canvas above. Dimensions are 24″ x 36″ x 1.5″.
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CanvasHQ special promotion.
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