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 metal chains twisted into spirally thrills.
Long silver slides latched on to
Jack and the Bean Stalk ladders
while fearless children climbed to castles in the air.
Cold grey jungle gyms amused monkey kids.
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 impressive billy carts
from scraps he’d 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 cars drove on dirt roads made by small hands
as neighbourhood kids joined in.
Long ropes skipped over chants and rhymes
as swift feet mastered hot pepper rhythms.
Hopscotch and stones,
Cops caught dirty robbers
with wooden guns.
What’s the time Mr Wolf
and what did Simon say when
Barbie and Ken threw hip parties
on the latest cardboard furniture?
Miniature houses with black and white chequered tiles
accommodated miniature dolls.
Baby dolls slept quietly in pretty cradles
as mothers drank sugared water
in tiny pink floral China tea sets.
Home-made mud cakes were a delectable treat
that fed innocent fantasies.
Board games ruled and property overlords were born.
Twisted 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.
Lonely swings sway
in the quiet breeze,
like an apocalypse has changed the world.
Unsunned kids sprawl on unmade beds
experiencing life through a screen;
sharing a soulless future.
Copyright © January 2013 Norma Martiri
Linked to OpenLinkNight – Week 78 at dVerse Poets Pub