Diane Shotton's Writing Pages
Poetry - Hunt for the Kangaroo
Short Story - Fromandi's Zoo
Short Story - Summer of '64
Short Story - Cleaning Crew
Short Story - Blue Skies
Short Story - What I Knew
Short Story - Getting to Me Time
Short Story - Spring on the Square
Short Story - Seven in the Storm
Short Story - Symptoms
Short Story - The Trailer - Part One
Poetry - The Lost One
Poetry - Hunt for the Kangaroo
Hunt for the Kangaroo

Houseboating one mid-sixties summer

we traded up from canvas roofs.

Vacation on the Kentucky River

rippling gently, flowing north.


Father captained our floating camper,

While Mother disciplined the crew:

Five youngsters on lazy outdoor days

of nautical terms and knots,


Grandpa trolled for fish and Grandma

Cooked his catch and served cold Schlitz.


Fishing, swimming, spinning on a black inner tube

In calm pools designated safe by Captain Dad.


Mosquitos, flies, hordes of gnats swim

over our tender necks and arms

prickling, irritating, wounding.


Two days out we land at sandy Boonesboro beach,

rope dangling from a limb perfectly positioned

for cannonballs in deep cove waters.


Evening baseball broadcast

from Grandpa’s portable radio

a silly song plays at the bottom of the ninth.


Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, a simple chorus

we sailors master the accent

and ship’s mates scurry for a respite from the din.


Our refrain interrupts the wallaby and koala

we hum through to the best line done over four times.


When transistor battery runs too low

to catch the scratchy Kangaroo

we spin the dial in vain.


Sunburned and bug-bitten our family is content

at journey’s end we ride home

begging Dad to okay another hunt for the Kangaroo.



March 2004

This poem is based on the Wahn Family's houseboat trip on the Kentucky River circa 1963.