Summer Of 1989



Visits to the Cape
looked different each year
as the children grew older
gaining confidence, less fear.

The older kids played
in the sand and the surf,
while grandparents looked on.
The kids were on their turf.

The summer the baby
was just six months old
we experienced record heat
(or so I was told).

This meant holding him
was uncomfortably hot.
Our solution to cool off:
to fill a lobster pot!

Out on the lawn
safely in reach,
the baby enjoyed
his form of the beach.

P. Wanken

~ for Austin ~

First – “WELCOME” to my new followers…especially you, #300! WooHoo!! 🙂 I appreciate the support and encouragement.

Second – I wish I had a picture to go with this poem. I know one exists, but I couldn’t locate it in time to post this poem today.


Written for Poetic Bloomings “Life is a Beach” – Day 18: Children.

Remember To Play



grow up
don’t forget
how much fun it is
to run and skip and jump and hop.
Because one day you might ask yourself, when did I stop?
Tie a string around your finger
if you think it helps.
Bottom line,
just please

P. Wanken

Written for Poetic Bloomings Prompt #93: The Children’s Hour 

On To A New Stage


Not long ago,
after we first met,
he was putting on a show
under the basement stairs
(his stage)
beating out a rhythm on his drums.

How is it possible
that twenty-six years have passed?

And now I wait
for one of his biggest shows ever.
As he takes center stage
it will be his heart
that is beating out a perfect rhythm
for his bride.

P. Wanken

~ for Patrick ~


Patrick -- on guitar

Patrick — on guitar

Posted for Day 98 at “100 Days of Summer” on Facebook.

Life’s a Blur

photo prompt from Flashy Fiction

When we moved to this neighborhood I was so excited our building would be near the park. The day we moved in we could hear the children’s shouts and laughter. We could hear the familiar squeak of swings. Balls bouncing on concrete. The rumbly whir of the merry-go-round. Those sounds brought a smile to my face…and impatience to our little Joey! He wanted to play and didn’t want to wait for our movers to finish.

At near dusk, when almost all the children had already gone home for supper, Joey finally convinced me to let him give the playground a try.

He climbed the monkey bars, slid down the slide, swung high to the sky, and, though I was exhausted, he even talked me into giving him a push on the merry-go-round. As I watched the blur of him spinning round-and-round, I would never have guessed our lives were about to spin out of control.

That was less than two years ago. And now, from the apartment window, I hear the children’s shouts and laughter. The familiar squeak of the swings. I can see the scene clearly, even though tears have blurred my vision.

Joey would have been seven today.

#  #  #

Written for the photo prompt at Flashy Fiction.

Peeking Out

"Peeking Out" photo prompt at Flashy Fiction


(a shadorma)

hide and seek:
a game children play
with their friends…
or sometimes,
life just gets too loud and they
seek a place to hide

P. Wanken

This photo prompt was offered up at Flashy Fiction. Though I didn’t write “flash fiction” for this one, I had seen the photo a few days ago and the image wouldn’t leave my mind. So I decided to use it as a prompt for this poem. The photo was titled “Peeking Out” ~ and as such, I titled my poem the same. If you’re interested in reading short flashes of fiction based on this prompt, click on the photo to go to Flashy Fiction‘s site…and enjoy!