Tuesday, April 4, 2017



Sea-salty steamed clams,                                
I remember the first time I ate them
dripping with melted butter                          
at Wormwood's Restaurant in Camp Ellis,
I think my mother cut me off,
I ate too many.

On hands and knees
in a vast field,
 I picked until my fingers were stained
Little tart, sweet jewels
Wild strawberries.

My Gram pressed coins
into my hand
sending me to Reilly's Bakery
for eclairs,
the custard oozed
when bitten or the pastry was held too tight,
we indulged, just the two of us.

Peppermint stick ice cream
dripped down my hand,
down my arm to my elbow,
a melted flow,
my mother yelled, 'Lick!"
the napkin stuck to the sugar cone.

Root beer barrels, two for a penny,
I sat on the scratchy beach blanket
the candy rolling inside my mouth,
when I grew tired of root beer
I counted the licks to the center of a
cherry tootsie pop, until my tongue grew

  (This post is inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.)            


Rose Cappelli said...

Your memories were so vivid and took me back to my childhood, too. Was the peppermint stick ice cream from Howard Johnson's? That was my favorite!

Kimberley Moran said...

Not only is this idea wonderful, but your ability to capture those childhood moments is perfection.

Denise Krebs said...

I can relate to so many of these childhood foods--not the clams, though. They sound good now, but I never had the chance to try them.

My favorite lines for some reason are
"Little tart, sweet jewels
Wild strawberries"

My mouth watered and memories were tugged when I read your sweet poem.


Mary Ann Reilly said...

Love this. I too remember, Root beer barrels, two for a penny, Funny how food, especially treats, stay with us.

Judy said...

Your picture of strawberries made my mouth water. So many memories. I remember the root beer barrels too. No clams around our area. We picked and ate wild blackberries and fresh peas from the pod. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Unknown said...

Barbara you make my day reading your blog. Keep it up. Hugs������

elsie said...

Wow! Those are some tasty memories! The root beer barrels always burned my tongue, but I loved them anyway. I never made it to the chocolate on a Tootsie Pop just by licking/sucking. Always had to bite it to get to the best part.

Anonymous said...

Love the poem! You conjured up images of my own childhood! Thank you!

Linda B said...

I just read your comment, and now your "tasty" poems fit my peach poem too. I think we were imagining similar memories, Barbara. This is wonderful to see your writing about tastes. I have wild strawberries in my garden & the grand-girls love to find and pick them. And I'd forgotten about the rootbeer barrels. That really is an old memory for me. Thanks for so much goodness!

Teach.Workout.Love said...

Excellent memory!

Alice Nine said...

Your words have stirred up wonderful taste-filled memories to which I totally relate. I have visions of the root beer barrels at the candy shop (the candy shop was set up in the living room space in the home of an elderly lady in my neighborhood). She had all the candies in glass gallon jars with silver lids. It took my brothers and me forever to spend our 2 pennies.

travelinma said...

I never imagined that root beer barrels would get so much attention. This was a fun post for sure. Food evokes every sense, plus it often prompts vivid memory. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. It means so much to me.-Barbara aka Travelinma

Carol Varsalona said...

Great memories, Barbara.

Jess said...

Do you live in Maine? We grew up vacationing in Saco and have been to Wormwoods many times! My parents now own a house right by there!

travelinma said...

Jess, I grew up in Biddeford and Saco. My family's homestead was in Camp Ellis, so I spent a lot of time there on that beach. So glad that you connected with Wormwood's. Small world.