Poetry Friday: Throwback Summer concludes in “Stride”

Let me just tell you.. I am SO glad I didn’t need to come up with anything too long or witty for today’s post – I simply could not have done it.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllJust before 3pm on Thursday afternoon, I was ripping out part of our garden when I apparently disturbed a yellowjacket nest. I was promptly stung about 8 times, primarily on my scalp. Not fun.

Then, after my wife came home from work, we were eating dinner when the crown on my right front tooth fell out – and rather than relax for awhile, I was on my way into the city half an hour away to get to a pharmacy for crown repair cement. Doubly not fun.

And this is all happening the day before I begin a long, 4-day weekend as the PA announcer for the local state fair! Triply not fun.

I’ve been trying to maintain a positive attitude about all this (hey, at least I didn’t have a serious allergic reaction to the stings, right?), but in all honesty, I’ve had enough. I’m exhausted, and my bed is looking really good right now.

So with that said, I can now present the final installment of my Throwback Summer series, which started when I discovered my old high school journals and other papers in my parent’s attic.

Today’s poem was written in my college Creative Writing class, and I was still trying to get a handle on free verse at this point. I really liked rhyme and structure and that sort of thing, so free verse took some getting used to. And unlike most of the Throwback Summer poems I’ve shared here, this one isn’t too bad. Yes, it has its faults, but compared to everything that has come before…I think it holds its own…

Stride (poem)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane – it’s certainly been eye-opening for me, to recall what I was writing and doing back then. And it’s quite a relief, to know that my writing has gotten (marginally) better! Speaking of writing, Penny Parker Klostermann is hosting Poetry Friday today, so please stop by and check out all the links and fun!

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28 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Throwback Summer concludes in “Stride”

  1. So sorry about your troubles, Matt!! As a child, I “hid” on a yellowjacket nest once when I was playing Hide and Seek (let me tell you, they had no trouble finding me, as loud as I was yelling!). I have also had a crown fall out, but never those two things in the same day. You have my sympathies. Hope this weekend goes well!

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  2. Oh my, what an awful day. The best thing about it is it didn’t happen while you were at the fair! The poem shows grit, maybe a good thing for you right now too! Sorry for all that stuff, Matt!

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    1. I do try to find positives when I can, Linda – like the fact that I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock from the stings, or that the crown fell out in time for me to make it to the pharmacy 20 minutes before they closed. But it ain’t easy! Thank you!

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  3. Matt, your woes are real and your perseverance through it all is a sign of your strength. The bugs have been relentless in my garden. They are like silent huntsmen, popping out when you move into their territory. I feel for you because the little tiny gnats attack me and I swell up immediately. A great big, stinging ouch is what it must have felt like for you. Nothing deters your character in your poem and nothing seemed to deter you from your announcing gig. Stay safe this weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much, Carol. I try to remember there are many other people worse off than me…8 stings to the scalp and a popped-out crown are nothing compared to cancer, murder, and all the other woes in the world. Yes, I whined about my misery for awhile, but then I slapped myself in the head and straightened out. 😉

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  4. maryleehahn

    I love the slow realization that “she” is a racer, skiing down a slope!

    Glad you are taking all of your “moguls” in STRIDE. Life comes at you fast sometimes, doesn’t it?!?!

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  5. You certainly were an intense young poet… then again, weren’t we all in our 20s! And what an intensely awful day you had, Matt. So sorry to hear it! I have my own childhood story of yellowjackets. My brother and I were chasing our big ol’ sheep dog through some bushes when the dog dislodged a yellow jacket nest and both my brother and I ended up with multiple stings. The dog too, probably, but he wasn’t in the cooling bath afterwords with my brother and me. Hope you get through the weekend without any more disasters!

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  6. Irene Latham

    So so great you are able to get a peek at the younger you (who still exists!) through these poems. Really, such a treasure! Who knows what it will inspire? Meanwhile, hope the fair has been grand and that you get the rest you need.

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    1. Ha, thanks, Violet! Not sure how (in)famous I am or will ever be, but I appreciate your optimism! I’m definitely holding onto these. There was one poem I wrote in high school, Ode to a Piece of Cold Pizza, that I really wish I could have found…there’s an embarrassingly funny story to go along with it, so I’m continuing to search!

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  7. Oh, my gosh….I’m reading this on Friday Eve of the next Poetry Friday…..first of all….have a beer, man! Geesh. What a rotten day.
    Next, I love memory lane travels! Sometimes I cringe….and try to make myself stop and remember whatever it was that led me to write so passionately or morosely. I don’t always remember. ha!
    But “in the distance” now there’s some legs.
    Hope you’re feeling better.

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