Perhaps it was the I remember the bus stop by the brown field Empty no man's land between the houses with a couple of small How old was I in second or third grade? Nine years old I suppose Maybe eight houses down from ours maybe less It's all so hazy Those two small trees in that dry, strange, empty space unwanted, un They were simply there, not far apart from one another teasing me with their purposelessness, their purity Perhaps it was Sometimes, often even, I still want to do the wrong very wrong Things are so murky now What was I thinking all those years ago? Certainly as a boy all of my worst inclinations were un Fantasies consumed I had super powers Rules didn't apply to me Nobody new about my secret identities, but I wanted to brag to Be appreciated Life in my imagination was So exciting that I simply had to tell the other boys at the bus stop to convince them that I had access to other realms Supernatural control over the universe Certainly over a little tree near the bus stop Perhaps it I summoned demons from another dimension to burn that little tree little by little very early every morning, long before anyone normal awoke I would watch flames born of comics pages licking And when the lower branches began to blacken noticeably with burn marks I felt my secret Feigning innocence, but speaking excitedly about arson at the bus stop and the possibility of alternate dimensions full of fire demons All of the boys certainly mentioned the little tree's gradual, daily destruction at home, and I was too excited not to Perhaps I was so sure of my cleverness Speaking, feigning ignorance, innocence, un to my mother Something terrible and strange is happening there I said There's an arsonist, I suppose, all we know is that the little tree is being burned up slowly What should we do about this? What can we do about this? What can we do? What? So horrible Acting was not my super power, or perhaps my mother's super powers were stronger despite the vastness of my imagination She was awake long before anyone normal awoke waiting for me at the door to another dimension, the portal to powers and forbidden I stood there a fool, holding some comics pages and matches, feeling revealed, stupid, pathetic, un Oh... Oh... Oh. the thrill of it.
d’Verse open link night
For this ‘open link night’ at d’Verse, I’d like to share a free verse poem that I wrote last October. It’s based upon my memories of a true episode during my childhood when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.
63 thoughts on “Little game, or: Thrill me”
This is my favorite piece I’ve read of yours so far. Thank you.
I do remember those fantasies and the thrills (and maybe fear) as well. Matches had a strange attraction and I’m glad I never turned into an arsonist.
❤️🔥 Björn ❤️🔥
I absolutely love, love this 😀 I too had a wild imagination during my childhood days .. and was convinced that I was born a superhero 💝
That is what my daughter thinks 😃
I’m worried that she is too much like me!
Great to reminisce on those childhood years, David! It was varied and exhaustively unraveled in your write. It has to be an enjoyable one, certainly!
Hank, thank you. Maybe I’ll write another poem in a similar vein soon… this one helped me clarify my memories for myself 🙂
vulnerability is difficult to portray, but you do so expertly – the halting language, the innocence of the narrator, the character sketches of the other boys and the (your) mother – and then the final line – the rationale, the justification – the thrill. well done ~
Thank you so much, M❣️
I think this part of childhood is just magical and evocative to me. Such endless bounds and dimensions in mind and imagination, you can believe everything is possible–even the impossible that we see in fiction. It brings me back to that thrill of my own world at that age, care-free and mine; no one could understand it and that was as I wanted it, even if I knew it could never be reality. Beautifully written, David. Your work is so stirring!
Lucy, you make me feel like this – 🥰
…and you turned out OK! Great poem. ❤ Sometimes mothers do have super powers! 🙂
I’d say “ok’ish” 😉
Very dramatic episode, emotions perfectly conveyed. I like the single words and phrases, cut off in single burst of thought or feeling, or perhaps a gasp.
I continue struggling to write free verse in a way that feels just right to me… I’m like the Goldilocks of free verse, I guess 🙂
I enjoy following your struggle, David.
Childhood has its own rules and dimensions. The tone is exactly right. (K)
the challenge for me is growing out of those dimensions 😀
Well you need to hold on to the ability to play…
I love the way you’ve written this as broken sentences, to portray those half-remembered details, but the main story I think you remember very well! I can just imagine such childhood mischief. I had a friend who would have done exactly the same. She told me she had a ghost train in her attic and I believed her!
Yes, I have a very distinct memory of this particular episode, Ingrid! I’m not proud of it, but it has stayed with me for many years…
We all test the boundaries as children! 😊
oh, what wonderful worlds we inhabited as youngsters! Probably just as wel we grew up, though.
I’m not sure that I ever grew up, Pete… luckily, the world doesn’t leave me to my own devices!
oh I wish 🤣
This is definitely an intimate sharing of a secret from childhood. The desire to meet the approval of others is strong in humans, for good or ill. I’m glad mom nipped that one in the bud.
In retrospect, so am I, Lisa 😉