Diesel fumes chase the bus rumbling along a narrow road
while your tepid soda and stale snacks clash with cabin fever.
Air brakes jolt sticky passengers and the door swishes open.
Hints of pine sap on a brisk lakeside breeze revive the weary.

Friends slap your shoulder while strangers smile, shaking hands.
Pealing bells, shuffling feet, and falling chairs are your soundtrack 
for steaming trays of oatmeal, grilled cheese, and meatloaf.
The sweet wax smell of crayons welcomes you to the craft lodge.

Oaky fireplace smoke permeates your hoodie while squirrels chatter.
You slide into soft sheets as the wind whistles an old camp song.
Over the canoe’s edge, your hand straddles the cold stream current.
You taste cherry strudel, fried asparagus, s’mores, and sweet wine.

The scent of lilacs guides you to crashing waves and crying gulls.
The beach crunches, scours your toes, then offers silky driftwood.
Your fingers trace inspiring words carved long ago into a bench.
Sudden snores and raucous revelers upset the peace of 3 AM.

A cold shower, toothpaste, and your last cup of anemic coffee.
You sweep sand from running shoes, shirt pockets, and bedsheets.
Roommates offer you gifts of smooth pottery and goodbye hugs.
There’s thunder over the lake as a soft rain caresses your arm.

By Chris Clark

This was written for the 2018 Wakonse Conference on College Teaching. While preparing for the conference I was thinking about imagery and realized I clearly favor visuals. Each line in this slideshow of impressions evokes other senses.

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