These Are The People

by George Bandy


The waves tumbling ashore with never a tide to transform the beach, instead steady rollers with every wind. Some mornings there is the absolute stillness— voices & music from the far shore, boys & girls, Camp Seagull’s revelers & revelry.

Even now, summer is always the children
Spending “my summer vacation”
Cataloguing the surf, camping on the beach
With fire pit glowing late
And the stars
And the Perseid Showers
To keep imagination bright.


The summer she died
She denied all that summer had come to mean.

The girls I sent to stay with my mom.

And every morning for the rest of summer
I stayed here,
Living rough and short-tempered
With her
And with me for “not knowing”
What she knew
In her soul
But not in the fold
Of family.


Somewhere between the shores, in the commercial channel, are the rigged schooners, powered luxury ships and, even, the occasional coal barge en route to and fro the inland sea, all, moving gracefully to their elsewhere.

The smell of wood smoke permeating
The tent fabric & every article of clothing—
One big jamboree
With excursions to the Antique Car Show,
The 4th of July parade in Boyne,
The Polish Festival
And more to shape and refine
The middle American into middle America.

No mean thing is the beauty of land
And people
Restored and never found wanting in heart,
Church, or the art of patriotic inclusion.


Summer is always about
That summer without.

We stayed, summer after summer,
And it was never the same.

But what is?

Summer is about the children:

How my girls grew,
How they lean in search of light,
How they thirst,
How the biometrics of life
Shape the givers of life.


Voices of revelry carry from the far shore, between are the rigged cats & schooners moving gracefully to elsewhere, silently; and then the staccato skidoos & skiers flying in the wake of a motorized shell, turning this Turner into a furious roar with skidoo & skier punctuating with sky-bound whippets of lake.

These are the people,
That is America.

The immigrant migrants brought through time
By love of God, Country and Family;
Brought to the fore
By diligence
And most importantly
By the unalloyed spirit
Of those wanting what they’ve been told
They cannot have.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

George Bandy’s publications include War, Literature & the Arts (USAF), New Millennium Writings, The Kenning Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Passager, and Chiron Review literary journals. His poem “Return from War” won the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award and became the lead poem in his first published chapbook, The Story Box. His writing for children has been featured in Boy’s Life Magazine.

Author's portrait by Lukman Ahmad