The ski chalet,

a wooden two-story

in Lafayette Acres,

Franconia, New Hampshire,

north of the Notch:

its owners

left it vacant

during the summer.

Someone needed

to look after it,

and so it became

our family’s (rented)

vacation home.



I miss your sights:

Echo Lake,

the Frost Place,

the Hillwinds,

the Grateful Bread,

Polly’s Pancake Parlor

(that’s neighboring Sugar Hill,

but no great matter),

Bishop’s Ice Cream,

the Village Store,

the Dutch Treat.


I had a yellow ten-speed,

handlebars taped sloppily

with feeble masking tape.

I’d ride this bike

from Lafayette Acres,

down Magowan Hill,

past the River Gale,

under the overpass,

up Route 18

to the center of town,

a dozen or so buildings

dotting either side

of the sleepy one-lane road.


I miss the Old Man

who crumbled to earth

some years ago, ’03 it was,

the God-hewn rock-face

on the side of Cannon Mountain.


I even miss the names

of your old-time politicians:

Gallen, Sununu, Gregg.


I miss your thunderstorms

and fireflies. I miss

the drive-in ten miles away

on the road between

Littleton and Whitefield.


I miss being young

and writing elate poems

to your thousand-foot mountains,

mere hills compared to what

other places boast.


I miss being a fidgety passenger

in the back seat

of the ’76 Monte Carlo,

gobbling up the ribbon

of Interstate 93.


I miss the hum

of summer bugs.

I miss the golf courses

where Dad played golf

and I caddied

enduring bad language

when he’d hit one

into the rough.


Franconia, with your dirt roads,

with your rocky river Gale,

your staid white church

(Our Lady of the Snows,

which I entered only once),

you magic’d my childhood,

empearled my adolescence,

and mothered a hundred poems.

And so, this note of thanks.

Poetry by Thomas DeFreitas The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2017-10-29 at 09:02

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
A fine recollection.

Kathy Lockhart
I miss it too and I've never been there. You took me there and back to memories of my own and those feelings welled up. A wonderful experience!