The Ice-Cream Trip

April 29, 2011
We take the fairy paths, magic to us-
dirt strips worn down between sites.
A fistful of quarters weighs in our pockets,
a richness of round silver coins.
We take the speed bump as fast
as we can, just in case, maybe,
it helps us to fly.
Around the last bend- and there
by the meadow, hidden at first
by the red-and-white sign: Camping
on the Battenkill. Hastily, we shove
the front spokes of our bikes
into the bent aluminum stand.

There’s a pre-printed notice suctioned
to the window frame, inviting one to
“Come on in, We’re Open!” A pinewood haven
of tackle and bubble-gum Frisbees. T-shirts,
stacked in a corner - a freckled boy, a dangling,
speckled trout, twice his size, probably,
larger than any fish caught in the past twenty years.
But our destination, by unswerving path,
a broad, squatting freezer with clear sliding doors.
A blast of cold air chills the sweat on our faces.
Before us, a rainbow of colorful wrappers.
Creamsicles, Rocket Pops,
double-sticked ices; our eyes
slide past them all. Un-fooled
by gaudy packaging, we know
there’s only one treasure
worth such a journey-
the sundaes. Individually portioned,
cups of artificial vanilla
covered in sauce.
We’ll take the usual- strawberry
for her, and a chocolate
for me.

Outside, once more in a blazing of sun,
we sit, quite contented, luxuriating
in the magical silence of ice cream,
drips ringing our lips as we
suck freezing sweetness
off flat wooden spoons.

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