Saturday, April 23, 2016

Schuylkill County Childhood

I followed the prompt for Day 18 of NaPoWriMo to write a poem that involves “the sound of home.”

Schuylkill County Childhood

I live so far from my childhood home.
I miss the taste of sweet sauce pizza
on the days we could afford to buy it.
I miss the crisp Ellios pizza baking
in the oven on any other normal day.
I miss the delicious taste of WaWa
lemonade iced tea, though my brother
would tell you he'd much prefer Guers,
and the crinkle of a bag of Snyder's
BBQ chips or the delicious flavor
of the chocolate peanut butter Tastycake.

I remember walking through the woods
and exploring abandoned coal mines
(or just the cold entrances, in my case)
until boards blocked them off for safety.
I remember treading the path of many
before me and walking across the ruins
of what I imagined to be a castle from long ago.
I remember riding on my stepfather's quad
next to the crick and through the trees,
up tall hills of tiny rocks, some so tall
that the quad would strain to reach the top.

I played outside in the leaves and the snow,
in the rocks and the grass, no parent in sight.
We'd walk to the candy shop and use
our pennies to buy little candies.
In the summer, we'd run up the path
leading to the next town, wearing our
circle medals on our bracelets, eagerly
waiting to go swimming in the pool.
Sometimes Mom would buy us a soda
or drive to Rita's for an Italian Ice.

Now I've grown up, and I've moved away,
but I'll always be a Coal Cracker.
I'll ask for dippy eggs and pierogies.
Sometimes I'll say youze and bolth.
I'll forever remember block parties
and coal candy and riding on the Phoenix
rollercoaster or the Sklooosh at Knoebels.
I can pronounce Mahanoy, Shenandoah,
and Nesquehoning, and I've seen the
abandoned coal town of Centralia.
These are the places I knew as a child,
These are the memories I'll hold 'til I'm old.