General Poetry posted October 15, 2018


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Freestyle or even worse, but the poetry is in the imagery.

My Elementary School Playground

by Mike K2

In 5th or 6th grade our educator declared,
"Call me a cowboy and not your teacher;
my main job is to herd you like cattle!"
We figured he was right, though a bit rattled.

From the classroom, through the hallways,
to lunch or gym, always corralled and fighting boredom.
But there was that one time of day with anticipation;
thoughts of the playground our daily emancipation!

Thirty years later my step-son showed me his
school playground, "Dad isn't this cool?"
"Guess it is best you don't know any better,
yours is plastic and we'd destroy it in a day."
"Dad, yours made of steel, that wouldn't be safe to play."

Our play ground was hard sand and pebble,
made of welded steel, objects the WWI vets called torture,
a jungle gym made to look like a space capsule,
and a chain cargo net that was ten feet high.

Yes, we got bruised, hurt and abraded,
but were always told, "Just glad you
didn't break the equipment."

Our asphalt lot had jump rope sections
hopscotch and other courts for the girls.
And boys had kickball and dodge, where
we declared each other mortal enemies.

Yet after the game no matter injured state, or wounded
pride, friends again we once would stride.

There was also a host of independent societies,
home base for kick ball was a storm drain laden with change.
It didn't matter the team, happy to have people on base.
As earnest young boys plied their minds, those coins they chased.

We learned on our own terms, street justice,
as well inflict on others not to hurt or prejudge;
as we nursed our flesh wounds or mended internal hurts.

It was also an allowable time with her rules,
to quickly check up on your sweetheart.
Or to her horror with her girlfriend's womanhood inquiry
they thought an 11 year old OB/GYN was totally absurd.
It made for an walk home with her interesting to me...
"Mike, your butting in is not appreciated, so don't
do that again. Leave the woman talk to us."

I acted frightened, surprised and said, "Us?!"

She was confused and said out loud, "Us?"

I pointed to myself, then her and said,
"Your friends aren't ready for us to teach them."

After several battles with uncontrollable blushing,
"Not us Mike, us women...I mean!"

Even through the dark years of loss that
playground in my heart is indelibly endeared.
With listening to generations that came after me,
a playground of plastic and grass doesn't
hold such a wonderful place in
their hearts and minds I fear.


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