Carved in Levittown

January 27, 2013 2:08 pm0 commentsViews: 56
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GEmilReutterPoet and author G Emil Reutter was raised in Levittown and now lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia. He has worked in the factories, steel mills and rails of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Eight volumes of his collected poems have been published, including Carvings, in which the poems on this page appear.

Mr. Reutter describes Carvings in his introduction to the book: “We are very much like the old oak trees found in a public park. People stop and leave their marks on the trees, carving with a knife, initials, hearts with initials, a piece of someone left behind. Like the oak, people stop and leave their mark on us, some gently, some carve us not so gently. As time passes, these carvings left on us form who we are, how we view the world and how long we last in the world. Our time is shorter than the great oak yet the carvings we carry are more numerous, deeper, sometimes fading but always there. These poems represent some carvings in my life, some minor, others lasting.”

G Emil Reutter’s website is ; Carvings is available directly from the publisher at and also at Amazon.


There was a time when the planks of

the footbridge creaked with each step

over the muddy waters below. Rain

pelted wood rails where marks

were carved and weather worn. Leaves

blew along the banks of Mill Creek as

kids jumped into the swollen waters on tire

tubes floating rapidly down stream.




Swollen creek

Leaves blowing

The greenbelt in the middle of tract housing

still flourishes. Footbridge burned down decades

ago replaced with cement, asphalt and chain link.

Spray painted marks on steel posts show they still

come but:

kids don’t go out in the rain anymore

where would they get tire tubes?

Just a House

I checked out your home today—

the park in the hollow,

ball field on the loop

and house just off Larkspur.

Appearances seem the same, but

the gnomes are gone

as are the azalea beds over which

they once stood guard. No one

works in the yard, no dog

runs along the fence line.

Now, it is just a house in a section

of a development that someone

else calls home.

My eyes close,

I see the two of you,

sitting on the patio, waving

as I arrive— knowing

home is memories of you, I carry.

Field in the Orchard

it was here

in the heat of summer

we learned baseball

and the rules of life

in cool autumn football

how to get up when

knocked down

in winter Boyers’ sled

hill and new years’


there was Clarks’ basketball

court, the tree swing just

inside the greenbelt where

Mill Creek flowed

paths in the woods, games

of chase, flipping rocks

for craw dads, fishing for sunnies

it was where we hung

on the rug

“the bench” in Frosty Hollow

learning teenage love, angst

friendship, betrayal

here, is where I’ve come back

to check on memories

the paths overgrown

fields waist high

the tree with rope fell long

ago. All that remains is Clarks


It was here in the narrow

field under high tension

wires that the foundation was

set in a time that no

longer exists in a place

woven in memories

never to be seen again