Sunday, September 25, 2011


by Wendy

At recess, in sixth grade,
we'd shoot out from school like marbles
The girls would go make dandelion chains,
play jump rope,
hopscotch with rock markers found in the grass,
where boys chased each other in PF Flyers,
or sometimes, chased us, swinging fat worms from pinched fingers

On the monkey bars, we practiced skin-the-cat,
legs upside down Vs, skirts and dresses and shoelaces dangling
over blacktop
We never fell
Boys hovered nearby like yellow jackets around jelly sandwiches,
eying our underwear

Fridays were marriage days on the playground
Girls who caught boys were married for the day
Whatever that meant
Whatever that means

Grown-up boys still play and chase and scare us,
Still thrilled by our underwear,
And still, like their playground selves, come Monday,
have cooties again


  1. Love, love, love this poem. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Who is Wendy? She could be me.

  2. Wow! Exactly, cooties and all!

  3. Amanda-913888:39 PM

    I really enjoyed this poem. This poem made me feel as if i was on the playground watching the boys chasing after the girls. The way that boys were compared to yellow jackets added a great humor to the poem. Even if a person did not know what certain games were that was mentioned, i still had a sense of what they were. My favorite part was the ending about grown men still acting like children. What a great way of showing the likeness.

  4. Misty 1020-913889:17 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this. It reminded me of when I was little and we use to do the same things at our school. Children in school today may never grow up and know what any of this means, and may never be able to relate to this like I can.

  5. Lynn -1020-913889:39 AM

    Well written I would say. Very descriptive which makes the poem realistic and understanding. Describing the play ground to the children playing gives the poem meaning and a visual of what the big picture would look like. I love the metaphors given in the poem like "Boys hovered nearby like yellow jackets around jelly sandwiches." Give the poem more of a kick!

  6. Nichole 1020-9138811:46 AM

    This poem was great. It made me laugh and realize that boys that are grown up still act like they are in sixth grade. This poem took me back quite a few years ago and after reading it, I really thought about what it was like when I was in sixth grade. Such great and funny memories.

  7. Danielle- 1020- 913882:54 PM

    Yes, come Monday boys do still have cooties. This poem was very enjoyable. I think many can relate. It is very enticing to read about and remember those days that felt like they were so long ago. It almost gives you this bitter sweet feeling to look back on that.

  8. Taylor 1020-913889:58 PM

    I'll consider it my duty to give a male perspective on this poem. It does bring me back to the playground days. I was friends with some of the girls, but at the same time they were an enigma that I could not unravel. Not much has changed since then.

    At my school, the boys would play soccer or tag, and the girls would either segregate into their respective friend groups or play with us. I can't say eying the girls' underwear was ever at the top of my list when we finally were let out for recess. I was always more interested in the next soccer game or Pokemon cards. Maybe I was just weird like that.

    P.S. This poem forced me to Google "PF Flyers."

    P.P.S I do not have cooties. I got a shot for that.

  9. Shaneka-9138810:10 PM

    I really enjoyed enjoyed this poem. I could connect to this because it brought me back to my own childhood memories. Remiscing about being on the playground and "being married for the day" is just too funny. I would also have to agree about the the grown up boys because to this day, so very true they still play and chase us. Great poem!

  10. The funny thing is, I can picture all of this. I can remember watching the girls hang upside down on the monkey bars that were right next to the slide durring 4th grade recess.

    But the part that me laugh the most was the marriage days. I haven't thought of that in years. I forget what day ours was on but what we did was however many times a girl touched you was how many days you'd be married for. You would have girls just sit next to you and touch you over and over. By the end of the day you were supposed to be married for years and years.

    Definately not a PF Flyer guy. Adidas Superstars have been my shoe of choice for many years.

  11. Bob 9138810:30 PM

    Like everyone else, the nostalgia flooded in as I read this.

    I do remember those who swarmed around the monkey bars for those brief opportunities to see the sights. I noticed in your review of "Smokin' Seventeen" that you lived near Yardley and Trenton for a while. I spent my childhood in southern New Jersey, not far from there; maybe it's in the water.

    None the less, I had to admire your transition, "Whatever that meant; Whatever that means." I though that was a very clever transition from times long past to present day.

    The last stanza is a good contrast of how the games we play have changed as we've grown up.

    "Grown-up boys still play and chanse and scare us,"
    Though the desired end-state of said games is much different and the scare is more real.

    "Still thrilled by our underwear,"
    Though the interest has changed.

    "And still, like their playground selves, come Monday, have cooties again,"
    The men still lack seriousness and and are still afraid of meaningful relationships.

  12. Heather 1020-913888:52 AM

    I really liked this poem.I could really relate to it because not long ago that was me running around on the playground and being silly. It brought back good memories and fun times I had as a child. I feel anyone who reads this will feel the same way. Though I never did the whole marriage thing,I did play chase and everything like that. This Poem was really great and the writer did amazing describing what goes on during recess.

  13. Keysha 91388 - This poem brought back many memories. I recall all of the events happening during my elementary school years. I really did not participate with the events because I was a tom boy myself. None of the boys would chase me because they knew that I would fight them for bothering me. Just reading this poem put a huge smile on my face because in the past this is what we all did during a free time, but now, times have changed and our young children participate in much more. I wish we could turn back the hands of time for our new generation!

  14. I really love the playfulness in the poem. Great!


A bang, not a whimper

  Two months into L.'s retirement, and I'm finished with the stockpiling of books. No more book purchases! Or at least, no purcha...