Poem: Four

Blackie Spit by Rick Pennell



Written June 11, 2017


It is sunny and I sit on our lawn.
It’s Sunday but we are not going to church
for some reason. The church is white
with a bell and a steeple
on the other side of the ravine.

Since I am here and not in church
I hear the church-bells through the trees
instead of from the parking lot
when the service is finished.

If I’m a girl that’s older than four
There’s a train that goes by Crescent Beach
when you have walked down the big hill
to go to the shore.

The train is on its way from wherever it’s been –
Los Angeles or New York I think,
because I have no concept of location but
these are the types of places that have trains.

There’s a white bar that goes down.
And a red light that lets you know
when you have to wait til a train goes by
before you can cross the tracks
and go down the street to where the beach is.

I don’t have these concerns yet.
I only have to wait when I am
with an adult which isn’t really the same,
as standing there watching the train cars
go by close up when it is only you
and the train and the white bar.

I don’t go down to Crescent Beach
to go to the store.
There’s a store near my house
and I sometimes go in it with Mom.
I see Jiffy Pop Popcorn in there
and I want to see the foil blow up
into a balloon like I see on the television.
So every time we are in there
I ask her if we can buy some and she
always says no.

Since I’m planning about this now,
for when I am older
as I sit on the lawn having missed church:
If I were to go to the beach on my own
I wouldn’t walk down the big hill from the church
that leads down to the train tracks.
I would take the trail through the trees
at the bend in our road, and say hi to
my friend’s cat as I pass by
his house. I would think of the time
the cat scratched our cocker spaniel’s nose
when we were there visiting,
and they gave our dog a bowl of water
to compensate, as if that would make it better.
But you know dogs, they are generally good sports
about things.

If I could go down the trail to where the tracks are,
before I left the house I would
check that there was a breeze and take my kite
and then go the trail route.

Maybe I would have to wait for the train
but then I would take the kite to Blackie Spit and fly it there,
where I could look out at the same time
and see the Mud Bay flatlands and
those Mountains they call Lions.
All this while my kite was flying around in the air.
But I am only four, and I am too young
to go anywhere on my own.


by Wendy Stewart





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