07 April, 2020: Orange Dripping Summer
Read a Poem
Orange Dripping Summer
by Alynn Mahle
August. No breeze on my pudgy
hands or behind my knees. Skin
sticks to the pearly vinyl
of my new teal bike;
halfway up Cherokee’s hill, kids jeer
as I thrust my weight on each pedal.
Leaving my bike under a maple tree,
I open Bondi’s bulky door,
the fan shouts, I shrink inside,
careful to steer clear of regulars
buying Stroh’s. Kids in store-bought clothes
are next. At last, my turn.
Mr. Bonderant’s dingy A-shirt hides
little of his swampy body-hair; a Macy’s float,
he snorts “Whadoyawant?”
Sliding my nickel across the counter,
I pull a popsicle from the freezer case,
pass the sign “Paying customers only,”
hurry out the door. Once
I’m sure he can no longer see me,
I unwrap orange dripping summer;
it trickles a stain to my elbow,
then vanishes on the blacktop.
Orange glossed lips, this chubby
12-year-old, now a Seventeen
covergirl, I think, The boys will
notice me now.
“Orange Dripping Summer” by Allyn Mahle, from Heartland’s Today: The Mythic Midwest, vol. 6. Firelands Writing Center. 1996, and program for Growing Up: Persons, Places and Things at Cleveland State University Imagination Conference, Cleveland, 1998. Used by permission of the author.
Alynn Mahle lists her roles as author, writing coach and grandmother. Over 30 years, she has written for and was published in Poet’s League of Greater Cleveland, Midwest Writers’ Review and Tributaries, among others. Alynn is currently writing a series of poems about mythical women while searching for her next endeavor. She loves teaching memoir, history, and ABC’s, and currently teaches composition at Tri-C. Find her on Facebook, Linkedin, or at her monthly workshop at Wickliffe Library. Her current obsession is her eighth grandchild Linus.
Write a Poem
What was your favorite breakfast when you were a child? Write a poem about the food, the place you ate it, and who cooked it.