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Gerard J. St. John

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Member Since: Mar, 2006

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The Boatie
by Gerard J. St. John

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Gerard J. St. John
•  Mulligan's Tie
•  Photo Joe
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•  August 1946
•  The Poor House
           >> View all 8

A downhill path, through overgrowth at the edge of the woods,
At the bottom, a clearing, a bridle path and large trees;
Cars randomly parked in the shade of large trees.
Farther still, closer to the ribbon of murky brown water,
Mud, muddy and muddier, slip-sliding slippery
Sends sprawling would-be swimmers who move too quickly.

Creek – locals say “crick” – Pennypack Crick.
Quick dark water runs over ankle-deep mud toward the waterfall downstream.
From their perch, lifeguards throw backward glances at the girls sunbathing,
Neither noticing that they are in the shade of the trees.
Wires strung from trees hold signs over the creek
Marking both ends of the “boathouse” swim area.

No guards or signs warn of sewage that seeps into the creek
From the farms and outbuildings upstream,
Polluting the muddy water and infecting ears of the unwary.
The department of health shut it down;
Took away the signs and the lifeguards,
And left behind the memories.

  

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Reviewed by Ed Matlack 5/30/2006
Knew as soon as I saw Pennypack Creek (crick) that you must have been or are now a Philly boy...I used to enjoy walking & biking the trails along that creek, though I did so after moving to NE Philly in my late 20's...didn't know that lifeguards once existed there though, way before my time I imagine...though my dad would have probably remembered....Enjoyed this piece of nostalgia, Ed & Rufuz (w00f)



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