Summer Days In The North Woods - Poem by Joyce Chelmo
One mile down Fernberg Road
across the road from a resort
was Jerry’s 3.2 joint.
A humble tumbledown
one room shack with a laquer bar
and wobbly stools at the end of the room.
across the dull wood floor echoed.
Tables and chairs were designed
the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Jerry was a big red faced guy
who sounded kind of grumpy
when he asked with a sigh
“what can I do for you? ”
We spent summer weekends barefoot and feral
drinking orange soda from glass bottles
while mom and dad drank beer
with the locals.
Dad’s friends gave us fifty cents
for our dimples, we spent it on chips
and salted peanuts.
A loud woman my mom called
“french whore” scared my little sister
pretending to be a wicked witch.
She sent my dad to the couch
for not defending us properly.
Mom picked the fights and dad
was supposed to finish them.
Dad was a peaceful soul,
and chose his battles carefully.
He loved her no matter how
feisty she was.
I vowed not to raise my children
in 3.2 bars.
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