We went to the creek for adventure.
We went to the creek
little kids with time to bask
in the pleasure of spring.
My sister, Sue, caught pinching crawdads
with limp bacon tied to a string.
She put one in her aquarium,
and it snagged her goldfish
with small, fast claws.
My brother, Rick, spotted
tracks in the muddy bank.
He named the raccoon Riley
even though we never saw him,
only his skinny-toed tracks.
As for me, I carried a pail
to gather blue-black dewberries
that grew in the brambles
along the slow-moving stream.
Once, I found a box turtle
gorging himself on plump berries;
purple juice stained his beak.
Sometimes I could convince
my siblings to help me pick enough
to take home a bunch.
Then, Mama made dewberry cobbler,
sweet and tart with a sugary crust.
Even our dogs, Red and Hank,
couldn’t explore enough.
They patrolled the creek banks,
sniffing up all the invisible news,
taking dips in the murky waters.
The creek was part of what we were,
a natural kingdom just for us –
the plants, animals, curious kids.
I still remember it so well.
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