Monday, 13 June 2011

The St Marys, Big and Blue by Robert Flowers

Summer days in the sun
Its rays warning our backs
Upbound, downbound freighters steaming
Their tremendous props churning the water
Their draft, pulling the water to the channel
Walking on the wet sand
Waiting for the water to return
Body surfing the wake to the beach.

Tossing a daredevil into the calm bay
feeling the thrill of a Northern Pike
fighting to escape the hook and line
12 year old arms, battling a 24 inch monster
I win. Now, how do I remove the hook
without those razor teeth lacerating my finger
It's so slimy, the fish skin

A yard full of sisters, and neighboring girls
sitting on the lush, soft grass
greased up in tanning oil
soaking in the sun
How could I, or my friend resist
tossing them all into the refreshing water
one at a time
We were teens after all.

Seemingly endless days of summer
The water was fresh and cold
We couldn't stand to remove ourselves
until our skin was blue
And the night air seemed cold
and we'd shiver for long long time
But the river took away all our cares
and bought peace into our lives

And the ice froze
And the shovels went to work
pushed by boys, who wanted to play hockey
Goal posts were made from chunks of snow
And we didn't want the girls to play
They always wanted to make the rules
No Slap shots, and now hoisting the puck! They'd cry out
And then, during the game, their goalie would lie prostrate, accross the net
taking away any chance to make a goal
But they could take slap shots, and hoist the puck.
They were girls.

17 years old
Can I use the canoe with my freind
You can, but don't cross the river in the dark
We won't
Then the night came
We launched the canoe
Not a flashlight to our name
and in the heart of the channel
a freighter steams up river
And we are in the channel
She can't see us
Adrenaline kicks in.
When it's critical, a canoe can move very fast.
We're still alive

Then we grew up
The river properties grew in value
grew because wealthy people discovered its beauty
Ordinary folks can't afford a house on the river any more.
I would live there still, if I could
And my grandkids would play in the water every day
and my sons would throw their sisters in the water
and the girls would cheat at hockey
and the world would be a great place to live.

Bob Flowers (Dawn Sundstrom's big brother)

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