|Jan/Feb 2018 Poetry Special Feature|
Textile Photo Art by Jeffrey Trespel
We made X's on the sidewalk
numbered and hopscotched them
one foot, two, one foot, two.
I don't remember the goal of the game,
but Google recalls it was to retrieve
a thrown object. All the Google hopscotch trails
are rectangles, not triangles like ours.
In those days, our world was made of plum trees
and tomato plants, chestnuts and crabapples,
snowmen and walnuts, box cars and wax lips,
barstools and orange pop and slivers of ice
in the hospital, tonsils vanished. The adult
world hovered on the periphery,
the too-much-drinking, not-enough-money,
one-job-to-another miasma undetected
by the children we were then. But there were signs.
As the steam rose from the hot iron, my mother
sang the Whiffenpoof song. I could see her tears
fall on his shirt sleeves, but pretended
it was just a sad song, not a portent.