Childhood Games

Childhood Games

Hide-and-seeker, breathing hard, pressed up against the ledge,
her tracker stealing closer around the garden hedge.
“Allie-allie-oxen-all-in-all-in-free”
releases other hiders from behind rock and tree.

Boys and girls together, playing a childhood game.
He tosses up a basketball, showing off his aim.
She braids a dainty daisy chain and lays it on his head.
He shakes it off and tosses it to ring her locks instead.

Each meadow is a jungle, each brook a raging sea
within these childhood cravings, these yearnings to run free.
That house they think is haunted and face with certain dread—
will entry show an empty room or the walking dead?

Some pleading not to open it, others saying, “pull!”
with excitement and with terror, their hearts equally full,
thrilled with excitations or with terrors fraught,
opposite emotions crowd their every thought.

Do you not remember when you felt the same?
How many other childhood games are you able to name?
Red Rover and Parcheesi, Jacks and Kick-the-can—
memories like this reveal the boy within the man.

Prompt words for the Sunday Whirl Wordle # 580 are: ledge dead chain boys doors will crave sea free games steal

9 thoughts on “Childhood Games

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