Sherwood Park Lima, Ohio

Sherwood Park
Lima, Ohio

By J.M. Green

Looking back, I concede these were not
Major luxuries. A large L-shaped pool,
Two diving boards and a slide –
But swim meets in the evenings,
And days when junior high
Crushes brushed against each
Other, during water games.

Near the baby pool, elementary
School teachers congregated
To complain about children,
While rocking their own.
Retired auto plant workers sat
In a circle of lawn chairs
Drinking beer until a teenaged
Lifeguard received a call
At the desk. A chirpy voice then
Would flutter through the intercom:
“Mr. McClure, your wife wants
You home for dinner” or “Mr.
Graham, she says she’s having
A hard time getting the
Wallpaper to put itself up.”

It had a clubhouse:
Fourth of July dances,
Neighborhood meetings
Where they debated and decided
Official club colors.
Only three tennis courts
But hours of lessons, round robins.
The reservation board hung
On the chain link fence
Got stored in a shed years before
The nets were rolled up.

If I could just mount a horse,
Ride to those areas outside town,
Once covered with corn and
Soybean fields, rob the land
Of those holes – not all eighteen,
But a few of the smaller pars –
And several of the hot tubs
Planted in decks and scattered
Around cul-de-sacs, then throw
Them into my bag, toss them
Inside the crumbling white brick
wall, I damn sure would.

J.M. Green is the author of the chapbook Super Rich (Pudding House, 2008). His writing has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, The New Verse News, Poemeleon, The Oklahoma Review, The Oral History Review, Cincinnati Magazine and other publications. A former Marine and CIA analyst, Green is now a librarian at Xavier University and serves as a judge for the Ohioana Poetry Award from the Ohioana Library. He lives in West Chester, OH with his wife and daughter.

Featured image adapted from picture by Sam Howitz / CC