When I was a kid 
there were ice cream parlors;
Jahn's was our favorite,
with its 1890s decor. 
My dad was a big ice cream lover;
there was a time he ordered
the kitchen sink (a dish mean to be shared by ten)
and finished it all!
Except for chocolate—my dad didn't like chocolate.

We took lots of family walks
and sometimes we'd find a Carvel store.
What a treat to have the soft swirl cone,
so different from the solid texture of regular ice cream.
I loved the wafer cones best,
though my parents argued for sugar cones.
What fun to try to savor the ice cream 
before it began running down your hand
in a sticky mess. 

Ice cream is delicious anytime,
but when summer comes,
it's magic.

When the ice cream truck
starts rolling down the street 
with its music sending out the call,
you know that summer is on its way,
even if it hasn't fully settled in yet.
It's like reliving your childhood
when a child runs into the house 
yelling that the ice cream man's coming
or you see the neighborhood kids
racing out of their houses
shouting for the truck to stop.

You scream! 
I scream! 
We all scream for ice cream!

The trucks may look different—
no more Bungalow Bar with its brown peaked roof,
no so many Good Humor or Mr. Softee these days.
The trucks are more generic now,
and there's more variety:
ice cream, Popsicles, frozen yogurt,
even candy,
but they get the job done.
May we always have money for the ice cream man
as they keep singing summer's song.

~Elise Skidmore ©2023

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