by Jim Farfaglia
Into the trunk of the old Ford
went lounge chairs, charcoal and the ice chest.
Into the back seat went the four of us,
sweaty and squeezed tight –
all jockeying for a window seat
to better scan the windy roads,
and check off the landmarks along the way:
The stoplight where 104 and 3 meet.
The old laundromat in Hannibal.
The steep curve through the valley of Sterling.
And finally, rising like a promised land,
the water tower of its village.
We tried to keep still
as Dad drove that long road into the park,
but as soon as we’d stopped at the ticket booth
necks would start straining,
wanting to be the first to claim
I see it! –
that Great Lake,
with its sandy expanse to lie back on and dream,
its bone-chilling channel to dive into
and the long arm of its pier to venture out on.
All of it – that endless day of fun –
a million miles from the humdrum of life.