Paul Belz                            Copyright 2008 Paul Belz



                                                EASTERN PICNIC


Our faces would have turned dark

if not for the lightning

from cumulo-stratus clouds.

They blocked the sun

and thrust cool rain down on us kids.

We ran through slippery mud

and squishy grass to this concrete shelter

where our parents and neighbors

sheltered hot dogs and sauerkraut from the storm

while uncles and aunts sheltered whitebread buns,

relish, mustard and beer. Us kids splashed inside

just as thunder came and the wind turned chilled.

We all were silent as the storm

pounded the roof like hundreds of drumsticks

on a snaredrum. Rain fell solid

like a slammed door or Niagara Falls.

One brave kid stuck a hand out to feel

and quickly pulled back inside.

Others stood with grownups who wrapped us

silently in their arms. No one talked.

Lightning cracked like fifty tambourines. Suddenly

the rain slowed and thunder rolled away.

Distant lightning flashed silently. We whispered

and stirred as the clouds drifted apart.

Laughter replaced the storm. Grownups released us kids

and we ran out to the dripping slides,

grabbed the muddy baseball gloves and Frisbees.

We started to shout and slide on the grass. We were safe.

We’d found protection, shelter.  How I miss them

                                               Mauch Chunk Lake, northern Pennsylvania.


About pelicanguy6

I'm an environmental educator and writer currently based in Oakland, California. I plan to include a hiking/nature journal on this blog, along with articles on environmental education, travel articles, poetry, and spontaneous thoughts. I am a passionate hiker and camper and a world traveler. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian feasts, and specialize in veggie German meals for Oktoberfest.
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