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Orange Dripping Summer

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.
Alynn Mahle
Thank you Laura, and to those who responded to the prompt. Poetry sustains us, teaches and delights us. Read and write poems this month, and realize that no virus can silence us. Blessings to you all.
4/14/2020 1:09:49 PM

Legs dangling from the ill matched kitchen chair.
The flea market table, a red painted line running along its edge...lives in my sunroom now.
Those floating O’s, push them down with my spoon, only to have them pop back up.
Tipping my bowl to my mouth, getting that last drop of flavored milk
4/7/2020 3:47:59 PM

Elizabeth Gadus
The window's open
The sound of April is here
The clear sound of cars.
4/7/2020 12:22:59 PM

Laura Kennelly
This took me back. I'd forgotten how good a pop-sickle could be in summer's heat...and what those neighborhood stores were like. Thank you.
4/7/2020 9:35:27 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.