11
Mar
09

Just Like In The Old Days

It was a long summer afternoon in the middle of February.
Like when our parents used to shove us out the door-
“Get some fresh air! Go! Play! We’re going crazy with all these kids in here!”-
And you couldn’t get back in unless there was blood or you had to go to the bathroom;
All we saw the rest of the day was a pair of hands at the back door passing items through
(Like Thing from the Addams Family- which I won’t explain- and did I tell you a child asked me about playing Kick the Can on the Internet? Not via but virtually.)
A ball might be handed through the door,
Popsicles,
Towels if the sprinkler was on or- if we’d been good- towels and clothespins
So we could play Batman and Superman and woe is you if you got stuck as Robin.
Tuesday we didn’t have Popsicles or towels;
It was only fifty degrees. I can’t remember the last time I saw a clothespin.
We had rocks that no one was allowed to climb on-
They’re on a playground for Pete’s sake!-
And a supposedly decorative red rowboat without an engine or oars
That, despite its newness, keeps falling on hard times and has to have the engine repaired
Or to be rowed to somewhere very far:
The Philippines or the 7-11 to get some Popsicles or to get Dad some more smokes.
We had sidewalk chalk to be used on sidewalks only.
Rainbows of chalk
Dragons of chalk
Blue spiders with fourteen legs but still only two eyes made of chalk.
And we had the swings that can still take you higher, higher, higher…
“Push me till my feet go up in the sky by that airplane. Okay then, how about until they’re above the monkeybars?”
There was magic dust in the sun;
Hardly anyone fought and no one really cried.
Until their parents arrived to pick them up to make them go home for dinner
Then they bawled and said, “Please, two minutes more” just like in the old days.

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