Literary Hook: Life as a 10-year-old in Ursa, Ill.

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

As summer wanes, here is a poem that captures its magical moments. The poem is by Carol Fox, a member of the Tuesday Writers, whose work has been published and enjoyed in this column.


Sitting on the glider
warm air hugging our arms
on those velvet nights in 1952
we looked up and owned
the patch of stars above us
the way only 10-year-olds can do.

No distance barrier
no wonder at their meaning
only sure that they existed just as we did.
Our just-past-Santa-Claus minds
took the stars as friends
the way the asphalt street and catalpa tree
were playmates for Soap Box Derby
and bean-throwing contests.

The glistening stars
the street light glowing singly at the corner
the warm glow of the kitchen light inside
were signs that light was ours and
light was love.

He’s gone now, my cousin on the swing,
but I can lift my eyes and see him
in the light of the Big Dipper.

—Carol J. Fox

Carol J. Fox is a retired teacher and librarian living in the Rockford area. She spent her summers as a child with her mother’s sister and her family in a little town near Quincy, Ill. The town of 300 was called Ursa.

From the Oct. 6-12, 2010 issue

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