green croft
Summer Maid
By Barbara Eknoian

At age fourteen, I land my first job
working as a maid
at The Green Croft, a family inn,
at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.
My pals, the waiter and waitress,
make tips, but guests
don’t think to tip the maid.
I’m content because I only work
two or three hours
and the rest of the day
I spend swimming, hiking,
and floating on rafts.
It’s a vacation away
from hot asphalt streets.
My three summers there disappear
like the wake from a speedboat.
It’s our last Labor Day at the hotel
I have to say good-bye
to my summer buddies.
I stand in the hotel hallway
sobbing, my shoulders shaking,
my tears flowing nonstop.
I know we’ll lose touch;
life is moving us on.
In my spirit, I’m resisting
like a little kid
who doesn’t want to leave
her mommy
to attend kindergarten.
I’m about to be held captive
sitting at a desk
at Mutual of New York
typing insurance claims.

IMAGE: The Green Croft, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It was an innocent time during the late fifties. I grew up working at The Green Croft  for three summers.  I didn’t start my job after high school graduation until I could spend my last summer at the lake. My memories of that time are more vivid in my mind than how I spent yesterday.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Cadence Collective Anthology, and Silver Birch Press’s Silver, Green, Summer, and Self-Portrait anthologies. She never experiences the “empty nest syndrome” as her family has moved back to live with her in La Mirada, California,. Her poetry book, Why I Miss New Jersey, short story collection, Millie’s Place and Other Stories, and  Monday’s Child are available at Amazon.