Periphery, at twelve

by Sharon Lask Munson
Woodhull Lake at dawn—
gunmetal gray, smooth and still.
Wooden cottages dot the shoreline.
Red Egrets gather on the raft.
Rowboats mark time.

By ten, the public beach
swarms with sunbathers.
I spend my mornings floating
in shallow waters, hunting shells,
constructing castles in sand.

Afternoon, I gape at teens
rubbing Coppertone on crisp bodies,
watch them play hide and seek
under cotton beach towels.

At night, pulled in by the music,
I head to the Big House—
the lake’s historic dance hall

stand outside in the shadows
where ghosts of Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller
swing and sway with Sammy Kaye.

Couples rock and roll to Great Balls of Fire,
dance low and slow to Blueberry Hill.
Hoods in jeans loiter in the doorway,
practice scowling, smoke Camels, sip beer.

I dither at the juncture—unsure,
still safely on the far side, peeking in.
Sharon Lask Munson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She taught school in England, Germany, Okinawa, and Puerto Rico before driving to Anchorage, Alaska and staying for the next twenty years. She is a retired teacher, poet, coffee addict, old movie enthusiast, lover of road trips—with many published poems. You can find her at www.sharonlaskmunson.com

© 2018, Sharon Lask Munson