Playgrounds of the Sixties

In the Sixties, outskirts of town,

our playground was a forgotten lot.

With cast-off tires, bricks and boards

we fashioned a cabin in that spot.


On a moldy log over the stream

we tested our balance, just for the prize

of pussy willows, tall and tan

and velveteen, on the other side.


The culvert emptying into that stream

was Gothic and steamy, mysterious,

but wickedly fun to stoop and wade

with flashlights into the black abyss.


The branches of a monstrous tree made

a serpentine ladder into the leaves,

and a nearby house, partially built—

a jungle gym of un-plastered beams.


We weren’t wary of leaving home, and

nimbly biked the meandering path

around the lake—quite by ourselves—

with no permission given or asked.


Later, the fence round a private pool

was something we scaled, forbidden and cool

and outlaw, even, when “Stay out of trouble,”

and “Be home for dinner,” were cardinal rules.


Playgrounds or hazards, say what you will.

Our parents might have misconstrued

the merits of such precarious realms,

but lucky for us, they never knew.



Leave a Reply