Come June our soft city feet would venture
the pond's bottom: congregation of moldering leaves,
fat pulp of algae, a few dusty catfish.
With every first dive into summer's cool drench,
the slick silt and marl would clutch our toes
like some clay-mouthed monster
before we thrashed back to the surface,
scrabbling to tread water, heaving
a direct course from dock to raft.
Gradually the sun's charm evaporated fears, settling
the foundation of family, corn fields ripe
for hiding, moon-spattered front porches.
The pond lies smaller these days,
the uneven dock as close as I care
to come to its sludge-flecked water,
battered planks of a raft float
unconcerned among cattails and frogbit
soon to be devoured by some land developer.
My history fashioned in every splash and gulp,
weed bubbles now sob the surface of those summers.
The sun bleeds for us all.
Allison Thorpe is the author of the chapbook Dorothy's Glasses (Finishing Line Press). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in So To Speak, Roanoke Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, The Tipton Review, Hamilton Stone Review, and the anthology Forgotten Women (Grayson Books).