Piney Woods

Pine-needle strewn path
winds through the woods.
Morning dew intensifies
their piney mustiness and
I’m reminded of the days
playing in the “back woods”
behind my house as a child.
Trails led us throughout…
to the low-shaded canopy
of the Florida scrub where
we dug “forts” in the cool,
white sand.  We gathered
and spread soft pine needles
to cover and cushion our floor.
The summers were
blistering but digging
down just a few inches,
the cool earth
offered respite in the shade.
We’d crawl back in the
brush that blocked the sun
and if a breeze blew
through it was even
more pleasant.
A wide, cleared path
took us to the abandoned,
dilapidated house that
generally we stayed
clear of…we had made
up frightening stories of
the place that even we
had started to believe.
Another trail took us on a
shortcut to Caldwell’s,
our favorite “five and dime”
to purchase penny candy
that was handed to us in
small, brown paper bags.
We’d sit within our dugout room
in the woods and swap sweets
and chew great gobs of bubble gum.
Sometimes we would
start an exclusive “club”
back there in the clearings
we had so tediously created.
But would end up including
everyone because how could
you leave your sad, baby
sister sitting outside?
We climbed trees,
lounging in the boughs of
old oaks and laid there
for hours as if in the
arms of a comforting elder.
We told secrets to each
other and “pinky swore”
to never tell anyone.
And we never did.

Open Link Night at dVerse Poets is hosted by Tashtoo today.  Join in with any poetic offering of your choice.

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  1. awesome piece…smiles..took me back to my childhood…i grew up in the woods…we stayed there pretty much all day exploring building forts and learning life…we roamed miles from home and never thought any different of it…smiling at the secrets as well…


  2. Wonderful nostalgia. I was fortunate to grow up in a place where we good roam in nature. What a gift and you’ve rendered your memories in a way that relates to me, and I suspect, to many of us.


    • Enjoying nature was in our blood from birth I think. We had so much fun out there in those woods and on the golf course down the street that was surrounded with more woods. Thanks, Victoria.


  3. Wonderful childhood memory. Especially love the brand of “exclusivity” and the “pinky-swore,” which is something I’ve never heard of before. Charming, Gayle. Big smiles.


    • I have very fond memories of playing in those woods. We were pretty much free to roam wherever we wanted…had to be home for dinner though! Thanks, Jamie.


  4. ah…wonderful childhood memories…brought back some of my own…these endless summers and life just at the fingertips…


  5. This did bring back memories for me too! Making up exclusive clubs, and club houses gosh that was fun… I just loved this makes me feel like a child again!


    • Yes, we always seemed to be forming clubs…and playing school was popular too. We lived in a very kid-populated neighborhood…always someone to play with. Thanks, Di.


  6. You took me back to my childhood days Gayle ~ Those were the days of climbing up trees and digging holes and keeping secrets ~ Enjoyed this one ~ Smiles ~


  7. Hi, As I read this I could visualize the journey of childhood memories. This made me smile. Thank you!


  8. wonderful memories =) some similar experiences in country south australia. =)


  9. My piney woods were in North Carolina where I attended a girl’s summer camp for 10 summers. Best memories ever!! 😀


  10. Such a beautifully descriptive piece, Gayle. Its nostalgia is contagious, as how can anyone reading this resist the feeling of having been there, too? XO


    • It did seem to take many back to their childhoods too. Those were such fun days back there in the woods. I see now what a gift it was. Thank you, Diane. xoxo



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