Nancy Ames

Rookie (November 10,1944 / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

The Ravine,1953 - Poem by Nancy Ames

'My mother always knew where I was, playing in
the ravine between our house and Grandma's
house, or else rebuilding one of my little stick-
and-cardboard play-houses in the old, overgrown
orchard beyond the ravine, where there was always
the wonderful, bitter smell of black walnuts and
plenty of green apple ammunition to use against
the two brothers - I forget their names now - who
always tore down my play-houses overnight.

So then I would be very busy the next morning
moving all my stuff to a new location, and then
I would go down into the ravine again, where the
narrow blue water slid easily between the red clay
banks of the stream, and the sounds it made among
the reeds there seemed to contain all the voices
in the world, and I had lots of fun making little red
clay heads and setting them out on the rocks to
dry in the high-noon sunshine, inevitably to be
flirtatiously smashed by those same two brothers

And I also remember that every Wednesday evening
after supper I would hold on very tight to my little sister's
hand while we walked past the ravine, being careful
to stay in the middle of the road so that the terrible,
raving, red-eyed boogeyman - who lived in the deepest
shadows of the ravine at night - couldn't reach our ankles.
We were on our way to watch Superman on Grandma's
brand-new T.V. set.'

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 29, 2007

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