Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lisa Lopez Snyder

From the Midwest to the Midlands

The smell of freshly-cut grass always evokes stark memories for me—mornings nudging thick brown earthworms with small sticks as they ooze their way across sidewalks after a hard summer rain, afternoons zipping around the neighborhood streets on my bike under the shady arms of red oak and maple sugar trees, evenings playing kickball in the cul-de-sac down the street from my house.

Those are some of the hallmarks of my Midwest childhood summers. But there is another one: it is my 12-year-old self sprawled on a creaky lawn chair on the back patio, notebook in lap, scrawling stories prompted by the tales of Tom Joad and his family as they loaded their meager possessions on a rickety car, leaving drought-stricken Oklahoma behind for the promise of jobs in California. Or writing poetry that mimics the same excitement that Robert Frost described when he passed the Mortenson's pasture – “Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb.”

Today what the smell of freshly-cut grass arouses is no different, except yes, the setting is different, and occasionally, it’s a notebook computer rather than the paper kind, in hand.

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