Lincoln Woods in the ’60’s

It was the annual trip

down to Lincoln Woods

where my dad and uncles

would stand over one of those outdoor grills

chanting their version of the fire song

wondering if they needed more lighter fluid while

watching and waiting for the charcoal 

to finally be hot enough 

to cook the burgers and franks

while another group played horseshoes

the clanging of the shoes against the metal poles

the cheers as someone got a ringer

the moans when a shot knocked it off

while my cousins and I would all run around

out in the fields playing ball or tag or hide and seek

getting bug bites and sunburns

and not stopping to notice

while ma and my various aunts 

would sit under the shade of the oak tree

all wearing the same style summer dress

talking about that one relative

who somehow seemed to be in trouble

it wasn’t until years later 

I understood what trouble meant

realizing that I was once trouble

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