by Barbara Eknoian

I’m sixteen working at The Green Croft,
a family inn, green-shuttered,
four stories high
right on Lake Hopatcong.
On the porch every night after supper,
my friends and I rock back and forth
in our chairs like old grannies
while the rich kids
whiz by in their speedboats.
Across the lake, the Bon Air Lodge
is lit up like an electric power plant.
We hear music from their band
and wish we were older to venture
across the River Styx Bridge
to attend their big Labor Day bash.
On our porch, the ancient jukebox
houses only one modern song.
I play Elvis’s
“I want you, I need you, I love you,”
over and over 
pining for a boy back home.
One night, Charlie, a guest who looks
like a forty-year-old bookworm,
sits at the upright piano playing,
“A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On”
 as good as Jerry Lee Lewis.
Guests push the Ping-Pong table aside,
start to rock ‘n’ roll. 
Peter the waiter tries to pull me up
to Lindy, but I’m too shy and say no.
He grabs Kathy, the waitress,
flips her around like the “Swing Kids.”
I sit there and feel the floorboards
vibrating beneath me
as Charlie bangs the piano
and pumps the foot pedal below.

Illustration: Vintage postcard “Lake Hopatcong”