summer poem


Covert Township Park, MI
Do I belong on Riff Raff Row
in that last campsite near the dune?
I ask my Mom and she says “No.
A lady, now, should stay at home.”
I ask my Dad and he’s not sure,
though he’s been riff raff all along.
He doesn’t see me in that way.
Nor should I be content – that’s wrong.
I wonder why I feel inside
That I belong to Riff Raff Row
and hills and dunes and trees and sound
of water splashing to and fro,
and people living on the edge,
content with friends and open air
and simple joys and little work,
with children tumbling everywhere. 
From somewhere in the woods around
Something tells me “Yes, it’s true!
This is your home – you own it all
in just the way that it owns you.
The earth and water gave you birth;
The sound of waves was your first song.
Here you are sufficient, child;
Here all can rest till each is strong.
The empty site before the dune –
Number nine on Riff Raff Row –
Go bring your tent and be content.
That sand, those trees, are home to you.”
                   Marti Matthews    2/16/99

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