I drove past a playground the other day and was saddened as I noticed that there were no children playing. It was a beautiful day and there was not a child in sight, not even on a bike. It may have been the timing but it made me think of the contrast of my childhood. The first part of this poem are some of my wonderful childhood memories. I don’t really believe the last line of my poem but I do worry about future generations.
Heavy wooden swings
sailed above trampled dirt,
and thick chains twisted in thrilling spins.
Long silver slippery slides latched on to
giant Jack and the Bean Stalk ladders
while fearless children climbed up to castles in the sky.
Cold grey jungle gyms amused monkey children.
There we viewed our world upside down
and entertained kaleidoscope dreams.
Dragsters wore streamers and colourful flags
as pegged cardboard roared above road noise.
Big brothers revelled in building billy carts
from scraps he collected at the local dump,
while little ones watched on in anticipation.
On a good day he’d let you drive his masterwork down the hill
with its wobbly wheels and Fred Flintstone brakes.
Tonka trucks dug up back yards
and Matchbox roads
as neighbourhood kids joined in.
Long ropes skipped over chants and rhymes
as quick feet mastered hot pepper rhythms.
Hopscotch and stones,
and cops caught dirty robbers.
What’s the time Mr Wolf
and what did Simon say when
Barbie and Ken threw hip parties
on the latest shoebox furniture.
Miniature houses were in order.
Baby dolls slept quietly in pretty cradles
as mothers drank lolly water
in pink floral China tea sets.
Home-made mud cakes were a delectable treat
that fed innocent fantasies.
Board games ruled and Monopoly overlords were born.
Twister manoeuvres sent everyone reeling
until we nearly peed our pants.
A ball and a wall entertained a child
and the adventures of The Secret Seven
occupied young minds on a rainy day.
Now lonely swings sway
in a quiet breeze,
like the apocalypse has been and gone.
Unsunned kids sprawl on unmade beds
sharing a soulless future.
Copyright © January 2013 Norma Martiri
Linked to OpenLinkNight – Week 78 at dVerse Poets Pub