The bottle on the beach was green,
In the most beautiful tint I have seen.
But other bottles from my past
Were mostly white.
The empties waited at the gate in a crate.
When the milkman was late,
I’d wait at the gate till he arrived.
The Milkie came with a loaded horse-pulled cart.
He’d run beside it as the horse moved slow
And he moved fast.
My mother would send me out with a shovel
After he’d gone, to collect the manure
For her roses, hydrangeas, and fuchsias
Whose blooms were so full and wide,
They leaned against
The fence like fat ladies dressed in coloured ball gowns.
The bottles were smaller at school,
With strawberry and chocolate flavoured straws
For the lucky ones,
Who would let me have them when
They were finished.
I’d save them in my desk for the next day.
But I was always grateful
To just suck the milk from the bottle,
Even on hot summer days
When it had waited too long in the sun
For playtime to come around.
Those innocent days are all gone.
Like sand at the beach
They got swept out to sea,
To be brought back again to land on the tide.
My memories will always call back
Days with white bottles that sparkled
With the morning light, and tinted green
Ones found submerged on the beach
During Sunday School picnics.
Anastasia Gonis ©
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #7
Anastasia said: I thought this picture inspiring. As you can see, it created a daisy chain of memories together with the smell of the horse manure I’d collect for my mother as a child. I can recall the clink of bottles and the sound of the horses’ hooves on the bitumen.