Smooth petal-like time
rippled beneath them;
No more barefoot alleyway days
or chicken fights on the log.
It used to be War in the field till the last man was standing,
but now Anchor swings are untangled,
their bench sits untouched,
and the Indian clay is gone.
It was dodging Winston and his strumming guitar,
lazy summers, water balloons, neighborhood hide-and-go-seek.
It was Connect Four & Guess Who?
popsicle sticks, paint fights, and glitter glue;
It was their best $33 a week.
It was rollerblade grinding an orange rack,
hula hoop, Tip It, and hopscotch.
Now Never Ending Alley could fit in his pocket
and Gene’s candy tabs are all paid off.
But for some wayward souls, even life stopped.
like forsaken Rainbow Girl on the wall,
she aches to hear “I play winner,” one last time;
and if you park yourself on Shady Hill long enough,
you’ll feel silent weeping when Mr. Peeing Tree cries.
It was Cyclones vs. Hurricanes,
It was first loves, best friends, family, growth, and pain.
Now it’s the Colonial blood in their veins,
panic-filled and whispering, ”Please remember my name,”
lingering like lost laughter in the back of her brain.