I return today to Shingle Creek,
walking in the fine fall afternoon
alone. Wading through the shallows
to the east bank, right where the creek
cuts close to the old Bronson place,
I feel like the last ancient Israelite
crossing the Red Sea, barely ahead
of Pharaoh’s chariots.
                                     Crouching low
under the barb-wire fence I swish
through the shin-high grass, the humming
dragonflies hunting insects, shining
their blues and greens
in the lowering sun.
                                 I hear
a tractor in the distance, the rumble
carrying far in the clear air,
and I think about that day
we ran, you and I, making paths
through the field, pretending we were
dirt bike champions, shifting gears
by the rising tone of our growls.
For hours we ran, stopping just to catch
a lazy red corn snake sunning
on a sweetgum stump.
                                     I know
that with these old knees
I couldn’t run like that now, not by
any luck or necessity; and you,
old friend, only in memory
will ever run here again.
For dVerse MeetingTheBar. We are writing about friends, friendship, loss, in honor of Dave King. Dave was a regular contributor to the online poetry world (at least until his health limited his participation), and his kindness and craft will be missed.

30 thoughts on “Running

  1. nice allusion to fleeing the egyptians…and the sound of the tractor bringing back memories…we used to play in the fields growing up so i def have some strong memories attached there…..heavy with memories man….


  2. I used to spend my summer holidays in the countryside, climbing on tractors, running on fields – you capture that freedom and carefree childhood friendships. And then moving on, growing old, the sense of loss… returning to our childhood haunts. A poignant story-poem, brimming with nostalgia.


  3. This was a very moving write, Nico. Time passes WAY too fast, but at least we can relieve pleasant childhood experiences in our memories and preserve them in poetry.


  4. Love the way you capture the memories here. You have captured place and the feeling of those moments so well. You had me reminiscing on some of my similar experiences with friends of the past. Beautiful work.


  5. I enjoy the immediacy of your use of the present tense in this. A wonderful journey back in time and friendship. And you've gifted me with an idea for an opening line for snippets of an idea rumbling around in my head. Thank you!


  6. Bittersweet poem about old an old friend. It makes me yearn for those care-free days of childhood. Riding my bike on the trails we created by going over them so much-climbing tree's, playing ghost in the graveyard etc…thanks for the memories…


  7. Love how you describe the nature .. the grasses, the tractor… you moved me there, and the connection to a childhood. Almost a life tale in those few lines, and that sad end. enchanting write


  8. Thanks Brian–I feel like I had a fortunate childhood. My parents let me play outside pretty much whenever and wherever I wanted, and I'm so happy I have this old connection with fields, creeks, trees, etc. Of course, I'm sure I gave them good reason to send me outside so often . . .


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