“Ring Around the Rosie” for my sister’s birthday & a backyard production of “Cowboys.”
“Annie I Over,” ” New Orleans.”
In shorts or dresses or cutoff jeans,
we ran and threw and played and shouted.
our pent-up energy thus outed.
“Send ‘Em,” “Ditch ‘Em,” “Cops and Robbers.”
“Poor Pussy” turned us into sobbers.
Do you remember these childhood games?
All vastly varied, with different names?
Before TV or internet,
games were as good as one could get
for transport from reality.
Back when we were cellphone-free,
“Drop the Handkerchief” we knew well
along with “Farmer in the Dell.”
“London Bridge” went falling down
each birthday party in our town.
All the long-lit summer nights
“Cowboys and Indians” staged their fights.
“Cops and Robbers” led to searches
of school ditches and behind churches.
The whole town our playing ground,
each chid lost, each child found
in hours long games of “Hide-and-Seek.”
Count to one hundred. Do not peek!
In childhood games of girls and boys,
imaginations were our toys.
Does such magic now reside
in minds of children safe inside
their cushioned worlds of rumpus rooms,
sealed safe within their houses’ wombs?
For dangers real now lurk in places
that formerly hid playmates’ faces.
Safety dictates different measures
for insuring childhood pleasures.
But oh, I remember so well
joyful flight and heartful swell
of friends pursuing through the dark
back then when life was such a lark.
Now children seek play differently
on cellphone screens and Smart TV,
scarce imagining a world
with internet not yet unfurled.
Our world had not yet been corrupted
with connections interrupted
with wireless servers on the blink,
for we needed no further link
than friends pounding upon our door
to come outside and play some more!