In myriad ways, now and since,
I’m less a formidable force than then,
When I was Icarus on a banana-seat Schwinn,
A Double Dragon defeater on fifty cents,
A baleful Blackfoot in dun buckskin,
Or a Ranger with hardened steel in his chin.
Deep thoughts were enumerated tootsie pop licks
Or scissor-splitting spit-clogged pixie sticks;
Didn’t take it too hard on a Sadie Hawkins miss—
Holding hands was adventurous, never mind a kiss;
And wouldn’t make too much of the little pinpricks
A bully might brandish against a simple bliss.
Miss Welch taught me cursive for counted naught;
Miss Bryant once jacked me to my toes by an ear
(I feigned half-deaf-to-left for the rest of that year);
Principal Eubanks had the handle on a hardwood swat
And kept my mother’s work-number too damn near—
My heart pocketed it all as a sandbox souvenir.
There seemed less to lose and more to ponder,
In a Members Only jacket impossible to launder
And pants of patched and pearl-snapped corduroy;
If there be any brilliance in me, or purest joy,
Any brightness beyond my most selfish squander,
Let it be the beam of that brave and unbroken boy.
Written by, John Horner
For more of John’s wonderful poems, please visit his website here.
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