Summer Days by Vera Salter

How come there are
so many tales told
of fun-filled good old days
spent free with friends
in cobbled city streets
suburban cul-de-sacs
wet grass in country fields
dumpster-diving, tin-can cuts
dangerous, unsupervised until
mothers and aunts called them in
as the street lights came on.

I spent my Summer days reading alone
in the garden—on the lawn that sloped
down to the brook
where I sat on a log
staring into the sad eyes of my dog
occasionally playing jump-rope
with a friend, or listening to
adult conversation on the terrace
no need to call me in

Only a generation later
as a mother of two grown children
I escaped to the city tennis courts
found camaraderie and sweat and flow
playing singles and doubles and singles
again until we could no longer see the ball
and the street lights came on.


VERA SALTER is a spiritual atheist who writes at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in New York. She has a poem forthcoming in The Five-Two Crime Poetry Weekly. She is retired from a career in health care administration, policy and advocacy after earning a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up in England in a family of refugees from Europe.