Maybe I was too young to notice
Erie’s brackish water that lapped
against our Oxbow cottage,
the one with the red brick tiled front.
Did I hear the rustle
of the cottonwood leaves
that quaked in the evening breeze?
I must have felt the sand
that squeezed between my bare toes
when we built sandcastles under the electric towers
that carried power to the village below
I’m sure I heard the laughter
of my mother, brothers and sisters,
the footsteps of my father who looked in on us
as sleep overtook us in the next room.
Who could forget
the frosted feathered window panes of winter,
snug blue snow suits,
or plaid patterned woolen coats with belts.
The rubbery smell of new mail order winter boots,
the dust of the coal bin,
the scent of the weekly delivered bread.
The faraway lonesome groan of the tugboat and its barge,
plying the muddy waters out in the main channel.
Those cottonwoods and willows
that followed the arc of the “bow”.
The cottages, the people who dwelled in them
must have given me my first awareness
of who I was, where I was, and who I belonged to.
Richard Lucci of 47 Oxbow Rd