Little game, or: Thrill me

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

Maybe eight
houses down from ours maybe
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 

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

All of the boys certainly mentioned the little
tree's gradual, daily destruction
at home, and I was too excited not to


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
is being 
burned up slowly
What should we do about this?
What can we do about this?
What can we do?
What? So

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...


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”

  1. I absolutely love, love this 😀 I too had a wild imagination during my childhood days .. and was convinced that I was born a superhero 💝

  2. kaykuala

    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!


  3. 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 ~

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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