At Age Six...
Mommy Likes the Monsters
Ol' John's Apples
Writing poetry that is designed for kids and writing poetry that reflects childhood is one of my favorite things to do. I loved being a kid: life was carefree, there were no responsibilities, no demands, only fun to be had. One of my favorite memories of all time comes from my childhood...|
When I was around the age of eight, my siblings and I decided to try something fun. We took our green recycling bins and set them on top of our skateboards. These bins were about a foot wide by two feet long, just big enough to fit a small kid inside. In preperation, we padded our knees and elbows, put on helmets of various types--some were bicycle helmets, some were batting helmets, some were pieces of plastic that we pretended to call a helmet--and dragged our skateboards to the top of the street. Now, from the top of the hill you would skate down past our house, and then you had two choices: you could turn left and go onto the connecting street, which was flat; or, you could go straight and try to bail out before you ended up in some stranger's living room at the bottom of the hill. The smart ones chose the first choice.
I have no idea where we came up with this game, but the idea was to equip yourself with a broomstick, ski pole, or something you could jab your opponent with, and be the first one to knock him/her off of his/her skateboard. It was a blast, but sometimes our entertainment would take a turn for the worse, and our parents would be right there saying, "I told you so!" Occasionally you would be knocked out of the recycling bin, and your innocent flesh would tangle with the pavement The pavement would always win. Other times, the curb would be your worst enemy, halting the wheels of your skateboard and propelling you forward onto the neighbors' front yard.
One time two of the neighbors ended up battling so long that they ended up going down the hill headed toward the main street. One of the guys bailed out across the curb and onto some strangers grass, but the other one wasn't so fortunate. He was headed straight down the hill, with no way to stop himself. So, in an attempt to save himself, he bailed out. But in doing so, his knee slid across the street, ripping open his flesh and leaving skidmarks marked in blood across his leg. It wasn't a pretty sight as the rest of us watched from the top of the hill, but I guess we were happy because he was at least still alive.
In writing children's poetry, it allows me to reflect on childhood, enjoy the memories we made, and see the world through different, innocent eyes. It also allows me to enjoy the simply beauties in life, to "be able to call a green blob a tree, / and touch the sky while standing on the grass."