The Park

A few weeks ago I proclaimed myself the Poet Laureate of Kingsville–this column was written to justify my crowning:


As the self-appointed Poet Laureate of Kingsville, it is incumbent upon me to write some poetry about Kingsville before my title is taken away. That, along with some encouragement by my Writers’ Group (19 years and holding), I have decided to (try to) entertain you with a little of my prose poetry. It is resplendent (good word, eh?) with memories of our beloved Lakeside Park, a gem back then, a jewel still.


The Park


We used to run down the stairs

(my sister and I)

near the Pavilion at the park—

There were two sets of steps side by side

That converged at the top–

We would race down, and

I always won ‘cause I was older and my legs were longer.


We would walk out on the wooden planks

That made up the boardwalk

That seemed to go halfway into Lake Erie

It really didn’t, but it seemed to…

We would change into our bathing suits at the “Change House”

*After walking over the old stone bridge with lanterns guarding each end

And wade into the lake without fear.


There was roller skating at the Pavilion then–

I remember watching from the sidelines,

hiding behind the big stone pillars

The constant breeze from the lake coming in the paned windows,

held open at the top by a rusty hook and eye,

hovering over the screens that were ever on guard,

keeping out the biting bugs and stinging bees.


The lake sometimes smelled briny, sometimes of fish, always of adventure

It was warm in the summer, washing away the sand we had collected on our wet bodies

from the white-washed beach,

where we buried our toes in the hot sand to reach the cooler earth.

We loved to feel the sun on our bodies, the water washing away the heat,

And sometimes we stopped to watch the dazzling fairies

as they sparkled across the water.


A freighter would sometimes float by,

noiseless because it was so far away

While the buzz of motorboats filled the void.

There was always laughter, voices chattering, babies crying–

Picnic food fixed by attendant moms,

balls and baseball gloves brought by hopeful dads

to play on the open diamond at the bottom of the hill.


The rough barked trees were huge then,

sweeping the sky with their leaf laden branches–

And people—there were lots of people:

Dressed for summer–the men in loose white pants and short sleeved shirts

undone to the waist; the women in pastel pedal pushers and sleeveless blouses.

We were all happy: the adults in spite of their worries–

The kids, haphazard in their merriment….


There were no thoughts of the future–

Beyond the day in the sun at the park.


*(I have a cherished painting of that bridge painted by a local artist, Kevin Lucas, in a place of honour in my living room now.)

The park is called Lakeside Park in Kingsville, Ontario, on Lake Erie.


Published in: on July 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful imagery.

  2. Love the memories – they remind me of mine :). And it sounds like you actually enjoyed summer back then LOL.

  3. All hail the Queen!

  4. There were no thoughts of future…LOVE the close

  5. Just so lovely the image you words brought to mind

  6. I remember that setting so well, heading out to Lakeshore Park from Windsor on a summer Sunday. Beautifully captured, LouAnn!

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