Cartoons with cereal
Captain Crunch with Scooby-Doo
on the black and white TV.
Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny and Casper the Ghost
until mother announced that it was time
to put on clothes.
The Tony the Tiger bowl, spoon and cup I saved for and bought,
carefully put in the sink.
I saw the ad on a box of Frosted Flakes,
brother helped me fill out the card,
Mother gave me the stamp, the envelope …
A long six weeks and daily disappointment.
Then joy and a prized possession
Sometimes I put the spoon at my dad’s place at dinner.
Jeans bought last September, now cutoff shorts,
and a white tee-shirt were the uniform.
No need for shoes.
At Bob’s house were the Matchbox cars, kids and dog.
Bob’s older brothers had a record player and all the Beatles albums
we’d listen to Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Pepper as we raced little cars around the room.
Dave had a transistor radio that played
Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
My older brother had a radio in our garage
sometimes he’d let us listen as he worked on his train set and slot cars.
We’d crawl on the big table made of plywood and setup track for him.
Sometimes he’d let us run the train - until we made it go too fast and broke the engine.
That song still haunts my memory,
In The Ghetto, Elvis’ voice,
but not his usual style,
it moved me, confused me, and friends didn’t understand the sadness I thought I felt.
The Tonka trucks were in my backyard
in the dirt,
piled with sticks and rocks.
Three of us were there when mother called me in for lunch.
Baloney sandwiches with Kool-Aid.
We all got sandwiches.
Then Bob said his mother was making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches
We got milk with those.
Dave’s mother was on to us, so we only got apple slices there.
The late afternoon shade spread across the lawn
where we’d jumped off our bikes and rest from the afternoon heat.
From the house came the sound of a piano.
My mother, practicing for a concert she never gave.
We were her only audience as she played,
Clair de Lune
One by one the dinner call came
for those lost and precocious times.
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