Writer's Pantry when we choose a poem or prose of our choice. As is often the case, my thoughts turn back to days of long ago. I'm submitting my memory to Poets & Storytellers United, May 23, 2021
When I was a youngster one of the highlights of our long summers was the Friday night free movie which was shown on a screen in the open area behind the drug store in the little town where we lived. I guess it was the prairie precursor of the drive-in movie. The parents parked along the grassy area edge, and watched from the relative comfort of their cars. After much coming and going to the drug store soda fountain for nickel cups of ice cream that had movie stars’ photos on the inside of the lid, it was time to spread blankets on the grass and settle down for the big show.
Once I’d spread my “blanket”, a denim patchwork made by my mother from pieces of my father’s worn overalls, my friends joined me, and it was time to watch for my childhood sweetheart. On a clear night, the evening star would appear just over the top of the make-shift screen. I remember gazing skyward and with all due childhood fervor thinking “I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight….I wish Willard would come to sit with me.” Most times, just at dusk as the movie was beginning, my wish would come true and he would join me. I still remember the thrill when his hand accidentally touched mine as we sat and watched “Swiss Family Robinson”!
The years have come and gone. My life journey took me to the city life, and his kept him on the prairie, farming the land he inherited from his father. On a bright summer night when I see the twinkle of the first star of evening, I think of Willard Cashmer and I wonder if he ever thinks of me.