Those were the days

when we searched for pop bottles in ditches;

three bottles meant six pennies that would buy

a popsicle at the Little League baseball game,

one popsicle divided  to share, and the leftover penny

bought a piece of Double Bubble to split in two.

We sat in the stands, watching our brothers at bat

while the popsicles melted in the hot sun of a Virginia afternoon

and turned our hands to ruby-colored claws. No one could lick fast enough

to beat the heat of mid-afternoon.

Who minded? Not us.

We were content, slurping the frozen ice down to the sticks,

then sucking the strawberry flavor out of the wood

until  nothing of strawberry remained.

The bubble gum lasted the rest of the game.

Dusty and sticky we  walked home;

Lights winked on as the sun glowed red and low,

staining the sky the color of our  hands.

Dad’s car loomed out of the dusk, its black hulk familiar and frightening,

its quiet engine a carcass. It had not started for months,

and never would again.

But we had  pop bottles and ball games, bubble gum and long summer days.

The concerns of adults were far away.

It was enough to sit on the porch swing,

watch the lightning bugs drift upwards from the grass,

listen to the whippoorwills

and lick the grubby sweetness from our hands.


About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
This entry was posted in A River of Stones, aros, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Those were the days

  1. Mamabug says:

    Boy do I remember those days of picking up bottles to get money to go to the movies or buying something I really just had to have at the 5 & dime !!!!

  2. Lovely, rich images that hit all the senses.

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