Comment on this article

South Dakota Summer
by Mary Jo Balistrer

South Dakota Summer
Under a haze of blue sky, faded and thin,
we’d search the horizon for a distant cloud of dust.
It never failed us. Every two weeks,
always on time, the bookmobile rolled
into the dry dirt lot. A long line of jiggling
bodies waited with simmering patience.
When the door to the trailer finally opened,
and the steps let down, the bookmobile lady
stood a moment, her face a text
of perception as she’d look at us rag-tag kids.
One by one she handed us a towel to wipe
our sweaty hands. Only then would she allow
us to cross the threshold.
Inside, the fan cooled sun-seared backs,
lifted limp hair from faces as we handled the books,
carefully choosing, extending the time as long as possible.
I tried on Scarlet O’Hara and Nancy Drew.
Had adventures with the Black Stallion and Flame,
lived on the edge of danger and wildness.
But it was Francie who changed my life.
She lived in a Brooklyn tenement, and like the tree
that sprouted between cracked cement,
she encouraged me to push ever upward,
to grow, green and alive.
Francie and I travel together now, back to that time,
the library lady still surrounded with books.
We listen to new suggestions, our excitement rising
along with growing awe and respect for a life-long friend
who’s given us choices,


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]

© 2001- 2012, Quill & Parchment Productions
All contributions are copyright of the respective authors