Norwood Park - Memories

Columbus, Ohio

Victoria Althoff is a publications editor for a local firm, and an accomplished writer. She grew up near Norwood Park and wrote a poem about the place. Oh, yes...she also happens to be my mother.

Norwood Park

We lived in the grey house
Behind an arbor of yellow roses
And a gate to swing on when no one caught you.
Next door was a small forest,
Not large, but shady. Through the trees
The sun dripped yellow spots on green weeds.
I scraped and dug, but had no seeds;
Then violets grew there.

Nearby was a park, a carnival,
Where a carousel captured us
Into the Wild West
Past painted clouds and buffalo
Toi the tune of the calliope
Punctuated by the bass drum.
A train was pulled by steam engine
That puffed and heaved a great sigh
At ride's end.

The man who drove looked too big
In engineer's cap, red kerchief
And striped cotton gloves with cuffs.
I begged my father to ride the ferris wheel
We felt the clink of the bar,
The motor churning us upward
And the odd tummy-tickle
When we thrust over the top and down, down
Over the carousel, Skee ball,
Cotton candy stand and mother
Waiting with upturned face.

The park is gone. In its place
An overgrown field marks progress
And a zealous Zoning Council.
We pass it driving to church,
Green in the spring sunshine.
I say, "There used to be
A marvelous park here."
And my children groan, "We've heard."
In a few years, the field will grow high.
Beneath the weed-trees
A child may scrape and dig.
Then perhaps violets will grow.

First published in Forms: The Review of Anthropos Theophoros vol 5 #4.
Reprinted here with the author's permission.

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