Going Home

Lud’s Burgers is long gone.
K-Mart too. Now Walmart and Meijer
duke it out across the street from each other,
just like any other Michigan city.
I’m surprised to see Lee’s Mini-Golf
still holds on next to Starlite beach.

As a kid – could it really be 40 years ago? –
I used to walk the five or six blocks
to play a game,
stopping for an ice cream cone
at the DQ next door,
now called the Happy Hippy.
That was when we played kick the can
in the middle of the street,
pausing to let an occasional car pass by,
and stopped at the now absent Lud’s
on a Sunday afternoon,
watching seagulls flock the parking lot
to beg and steal french fries –
days of untroubled childhood,
before the teenager in me
decided small towns
powered by cement plants
and wood-processing factories,
deer hunting in the autumn
and church on Sunday mornings
just wasn’t enough.

I assume the factories
are still around.
I only drop in a couple days
once or twice a year
to visit family who found
more home here than I did.
But it does make me smile
to know, going home,
I could still play
a game of mini-golf.

©2019 Kenneth W. Arthur