Posts Tagged ‘playground


Killing Daddy

“Let’s get a bigger stick and kill my daddy.
He hadn’t been real nice to me the last few days.”
Southern Gothic? Sure.
Only I was on the playground
And the instigator of the plot was a dainty three-year-old girl.
I don’t know her daddy.
I hope she was pretending.
In any case, the stick she had wasn’t sharp or very big.
Still, when did patricide become the solution of choice for the problems of the not-yet-in-kindergarten set?
It’s not new; Oedipus did it.
Ditto Lyle and Erik M. but with no excuse.
I recently read a short story in which it was brought on by just too cheery a morning face.
But what would Mama do without the child support check?
Who’d give her a night out with the girls?
What happened to yelling “I hate you”
Or threatening to run away?
I’m sure that I’m old-fashioned,
I just think it should be harder
To find kids so excited to support and assist this little girl in killing her daddy.


Russell Blair Is Swinging Through The Day And The Night And We Don’t Know If He’ll Ever Come Down

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And we don’t know if he’ll ever come down.

It was 3:45 and just an ordinary day
But things were gonna get weird in an unexpected way.
We went over to the playground, slid down the slides and climbed on things
Then I saw Russell Blair walking over to the swings.

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And we don’t know if he’ll ever come down.

The swing was a little high but he climbed on with a thump
Then he asked the teacher to show him how to pump.
She gave him a push, said, “Stretch your legs forward and pull back.”
She didn’t know how quickly Russell Blair would get on track.

Soon Russell Blair was swinging through the day and the night
And no one knew if he’d ever come down.

The teacher called the class to come over and line up
But little Russell Blair just continued to pump.
“I’ll take the class in,” said the teacher. “You’ll have to stay and wait.”
“I’ve got dinner at seven,” her aide said, “I don’t want to break my date.”

But Russell Blair was swinging through the day and the night
And who knew when he’d ever come down.

Russell’s dad came to get him and the teacher gave her report,
“I’m afraid if you check the attendance, you’ll see we’re one child short.
Russell is on the swings and we can’t get him to stop.
Please take this blanket for my assistant. I’m sure her goosebumps are starting to pop.”

Russell Blair is swinging through the day and the night
And who knows when he’ll ever go home.

Russell’s dad went to the playground and called, “Time to go home, son.”
Russell said, “Two more minutes, Dad. I’m really having fun.
I am a little hungry so you face north cuz I face south
And if you toss fair I can catch some Goldfish crackers in my mouth.”

Now Russell Blair is eating on the swing in the night
But can he drink before he has to come down?

Russell’s dad got a space heater and a super extension cord.
He plugged it in and dragged it next to Russell’s swing in the yard.
That’s how his dad made sure no matter how high Russell goes,
When he’s on the downswing he has a chance to warm his toes.

Now Russell’s tummy’s full and he’s got heat for the night
But if he falls asleep, he’ll surely come down.

When school opened the next morning, Russell’s swing was in the air.
We could see the rosy sunrise painting streaks on his black hair.
The cook came out and said, “Russell, this is a mistake.
We’re having peaches and sausage for breakfast plus your favorite thing- pancakes.”

Russell Blair’s been swinging through the day and the night.
Will it be pancakes bringing him down?

Russell said, “Save me some pancakes but you’re really out of luck.
I won’t come down unless you guarantee me the green truck.
Teacher told me yesterday, ‘Tomorrow, you’ll be first’
And I’ll stop swinging only if she brings the truck with her.”

It looks like Russell Blair’s been swinging through the day and the night
So when the toys came out he’d be first in line.

Russell’s teacher came to the playground and she said, “You goofy boy.
I can’t believe you’d stay here all night swinging for a toy.
I haven’t been here long and so I guess you never heard
That when it comes to kids and toys I always keep my word.”

And Russell dragged his feet then first the left then the right.
His teacher caught him when he stopped and slid down.
I saw him walking, swinging hands with his new teacher, his new friend.
He says he trusts her, no more swinging at night.

That’s the story of Russell swinging through the day and the night.
He’s eating and driving now.
That’s all.


Wayward Wind

The wind played bashful, at first,
Scraping its toe in the dust at the edge of the playground.
Tossing up bubbles and Cottonwood wishies
Then deftly catching them
They hit the ground.
These tricks met with approval
So the wind grew bolder and more eager for attention.
It tugged at the girls’ skirts and whipped their hair around their faces.
It stole the ball from the four-square game and shoved the kids on trikes.
It egged on fights by taking one child’s words,
Conflating them with another’s,
Subtracting the original meanings
Before hurling the mess into a third child’s face.
The teachers, bullied into an ever-tightening knot,
Announced the end of playtime,
Herded their students up and
Folded them into the warm protection of the classroom.
Alone, the wind howled and kicked at the swings.
But if you don’t play nice, you won’t have any friends at all.

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