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#10 NaPoWriMo

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APRIL 10 — Here is my poem #10 for National Poetry Writing Month, composed in response to a prompt on ReadWritePoem: write about a celebration. This poem is a mixture of my imperfect memories, my imagination, and details from a letter sent to me by a longago neighbor. The quote in the title is from Casey at the Bat.

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“SOMEWHERE HEARTS ARE LIGHT”
(~Ernest Lawrence Thayer)
.
Near the end of every summer
in the old farmer’s field at the end
of Rugby Road, whenever
.
our neighborhood clambake
was coming to a close,
with girls and boys leaving
.
their family picnic tables,
wandering in two’s or three’s
to one of the darkening porches
.
and women carrying inside
platters of leftover clamshells
and corncobs and pies
.
and men lifting or folding
tables or chairs or blackened grills,
my father who was by then
.
too weak for all the putting-aways
would recite from his seat
every quatrain of Casey at the Bat
.
and I would kneel in the grass to listen,
wanting the victory, every year
loyal until the end.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
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.
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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

12 responses »

  1. Therese,
    Nice,nice! Oh how I love clambacks! We used to have them all the time on LI at Fire Island Beach.
    Pamela

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  2. You had the good fortune to be part of what seems like a really beautiful ritual. I can imagine your pain in writing about this. It’s as much about time and life as the event itself.

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  3. Oh Therese, I knew someone who did this also and your poem transported me to that time and place. A wonderful reminder that even after some physical strength is diminished, so many powers remain.
    Thank you!

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  4. I’d say your memories are pitch-perfect. An absolutely beautiful poem that I will remember forever.

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  5. Beautifully crafted, Therese. Pace-perfect and vivid. =)

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  6. Therese, This is so vivid in scene and feeling. Economical and heart-felt.

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  7. A very moving piece.

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  8. Oh, wonderful! I can see you sitting there and the double meaning makes it so deep. Now, I’m thinking about my own dad!

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  9. I read this three times – it’s that good. Brilliantly executed.

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  10. This is what I call good-heart, Therese. That willing surrender, the loyal ear you kept. Well spoken.

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  11. Hi Therese,

    Whatever the source of the memory mix, this is beautifully done.

    Like

  12. Splendid evocation of the past… though, what makes a clambake a clambake (besides the clams, of course)? I’ve never actually been to one; if it’s the way you’ve brought it to life, I want to experience this!

    Like

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