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Picnic by Limay

My father swerves our old Ford
off the pebbled highway.
We kids sway in truck’s back,
knuckles clasped round handrail.
Clouds of dust corkscrew up,
coloured as brown steppes.
Noonday squints, unforgiving,
through earthy glare.
Identical thorn-bushes
lend prickly shade to roadside;
a partridge whistles in solitary flight
over low vegetation. The landscape is flat,
doesn’t reveal anything of moment.
Neither does the sky. Birds don’t sing.

An empty world breathes soil and light
as we bounce over winding tracks.
Limpid river, snaking out of melting glaciers,
hums nostalgic airs rippling towards Nahuel Huapi.
Limay pipes softly of The Enchanted Valley,
of white waters hailing majestic rocks
shaped like breasts and phalluses.
Eons ago, they were sculptured by Mapuche gods.
Fertility chants to Mother Rock and Father Sky
flutter over Limay’s sacred waters.

Pehuén offers shade for the Ford.
We jump out and run to water’s edge,
already in swimsuits. My mother wears
a castoff navy-blue Jansen.
She’s milk-white, timid,
plump legs dimpling coyly.
Mine is elasticized flowery cotton,
two sizes big, flapping wetly on chest.
Water is cold under desert sun.
We children splash in it for hours.
Later, it’s tinned paste sandwiches,
boiled eggs and apples, crouching
under wild broom-flowers. Sunburn.
My father bundles us into hot Ford
for drive home on rutted highway.
Sweat and grime form runnels on our skin.

Next year we’ll go back, says my father,
drinking black beer in our scented garden.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
How does this theme appeal to you?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
I always appreciate help. This poem is about excursions we made when I was a child, living with my family on a farm in a fertile green valley.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

I'm always asked by the system to comment.

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment

Please comment and help.

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment

The old ford sets a great image for me. where would you take it, I wonder? i"m hungry for more here...

Hi Ray, it was an old Ford truck we had on the farm in Argentine Patagonia. It's an experience we used to have. The Limay is a beautiful, crystal clear river from the melting glaciers. Not due to climate change, this happens every Spring.
Tx for visiting, Gracy

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment

would the average reader know that the Limay is a river that flows through Patagonia, Argentina? I had to Google Limay. Limay, is also the municipality of Lima, and there is one in France.
Does the river really "hum nostalgic airs"? Is there a better way to describe the sound a river makes? Maybe "splashed, murmurs . . . ." Consider the title reading, "Picnic by the Limay." To me this would be more readable.
Otherwise, you have captured a perfect outing to perfection. Oh--I do miss the definite article "the" in this poem, as in "We jump out and run to [the] water’s edge." It sounds somewhat "clipped" without it. Also, ["We kids sway in truck’s back,"] My opinion. Nice job, Gracy. I'll be seeing you, Jerry

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>Please visit my website: www.jerrykspoetry.com

Hi Jerry, thanks so much for your suggestions. I'll change to "murmur". Maybe I'll add the definite article, I'll think about it.
Sorry about having to google! But I also have to google your references, it happens with most poems. One learns this way.
I'll see what others have to say, then tweak my poem. Glad you enjoyed it, best, Gracy

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment

I love this.
My favourite kind of poetry...narrative/prose.

Usually I'm pro, lose the definite article wherever possible, but
UNusually, I feel the opposite here...I think a few, in different
places, would enhance your write and would bring the reader
deeper into your memory...give it even more of a personal feel?
I connected regardless of anything. Completely different scenarios,
but your write took me back to the yearly Christmas holiday my family
had at the beach. Connection. It can challenge the reader...
A couple of lines felt a bit staccato to me...I think they could be softened
to meld more with the overall tender feel to this...but you know? Adding
that definite article here and there could do that.

I just loved this. Your narration, your descriptors, turn of phrases...everything.
I loved it all. You took me to where you were...you took me on the trip to your
Picnic by Limay. Your structure and line breaks make for an organic flow
when reading...another love of mine. There's alot of profundity in this write...
This is a poem I will re-read. And then re-read again. I feel I haven't
done this write justice with my commentary...there's SO much more in your
poem to comment on...but if I continue, I'll woffle on. And on and on ad infinitum.
Trust me on this.

Your write is wonderful.

Thank you so much. I see you agree with Jerry, so I'll definitely add some definite articles. I'm glad it brought back memories to you.
I appreciate the time you've taken to comment, so I'm not doing justice to you either. Keep safe and cheers, Gracy

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment

you have penned your childhood memories well. Your words paint a picture vividly

Our chat room is not only there for Thursday afternoon chat 3:30-4:30
but it is there and ready for all to use at anytime of day come often and hook up in conversation to those across the globe

Thank you, lynn, I'm glad you visited and like my childhood memories.
All the best, Gracy

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

author comment
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