sidewalks of childhood


When i was a child i

lived on city sidewalks;

not literally, of course.

we had a pleasant home

with generous backyard;

but i learned to bike,

play jacks, hopscotch,

and roller-skate

with neighbor kids

on paved pathways.


Sidewalks’ cracked

upheaval just adds

to the adventure…you

must avoid the bumps!

Life lesson learned:

concrete is painfully

unforgiving to bare

knees and elbows

when crash landing

brother’s bike off ramp.


The sidewalk was

a way of opportunity:

waiting at school bus stop,

biking to friend’s house,

riding to corner drugstore

to spend quarter on candy;

walking dog to nearby park,

running for grocery item

or reporting to babysitter

duties around our block.


Sometimes the

city sidewalk scene

turned threatening:

dark shaded, vacant

vine covered manse;

suspicious stranger

beckoning from car

parked in narrow alley,

or snarling doberman

chasing flying pedals.


Our fenced lawn

was a refuge;  our

apple tree, an oasis

in a maze of sidewalks,

brick walls, city streets.

i’m happy for my childhood;

and grateful my own children

live on land rurally graced

with open skies and space

for green, growing things.