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A Memory of Kentucky Summer
By John Timothy Robinson
On camper awnings hung colored, plastic lanterns at night, and in the charcoal layered air
under a canopy of leaves, I would sit and stare at the fire, watch spit cinders rise and disappear.
This alone would be the kingdom only I could own. Grandpa would always ask if we were having fun. Grandma was quiet, nun-like in her Bermuda shorts, pastels and glasses.
I saved images in my mind like photographs; Gull Wings and their slow glide,
the illusion of shallow water at a rest-stop.
Once, before a storm she stood beneath shifting leaves, a chrysalis torn in wind,
scent of Coppertone; gone; silver landscape. I remember trees, that slow descent to a lake,
the pool; I never learned. These pieces mixed with our instant breakfast,
pale light, spooks outside the windows.
I watched as my cousin waste money on video games at the KOA.
“SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK,” hung on the chain-link fence.
I suppose with the years driven back, all that time seems like a vault of stagnation.
Images always betray thought.
Though hateful in their own ways, for no valid reason, I loved them Sundays,
when they forgot to hate skin for being different, when they remembered each other
in blue noon, sun with nothing to say.