Souwesto Home and Ice Cream

“Ice Cream” is a poem from Souwesto Home, James Reaney’s recent collection of new poems, published by Brick Books in 2005.

Ice Cream

The local poet is riding his bike uptown
On a fairly hot summer day
Bent on Jumbo’s Ice Cream booth
Before mailing a poem to Chimaera at the Post Office
At Jumbo’s Ice Cream booth there are
Thirty flavours available including—
Licorice, fudge, lemon, orange, apple, grape,
Banana, chocolate, cherry, Maple Walnut (my favourite)
Vanilla, of course, peppermint, strawberry, raspberry—
Weren’t there some vegetable ones? Do I remember—
Onion ice cream?
And this pair of double dip skim milk flavours
Cost only a nickel each!
And the ceiling was of pressed tin!
So, I plunk down a nickel for a Maple Walnut!
And so out the door bent on making the cone
Last till I reach the Post Office door—
The Post Office is French Provincial with 4 clocks.
The poet holds his bicycle up with his left hand.
Walks slowly licking as he proceeds.
Two little girls say scornfully: “He’s acting
Just like a little kid!”
But he thinks— “Isn’t this what life is all about?”

James Reaney, 2005

It was two years ago today that James Reaney passed away. His nephew, Scott Thibaudeau, read “Ice Cream”  at a celebration of James Reaney’s life held in early July at Aeolian Hall in London, Ontario. There was Maple Walnut ice cream for everyone at intermission. Dear Jamie, we remember you always!

 

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