Friday, May 13, 2011

The Boys of Ainsley Road, Maryland

Every boy is small
with so much inside
—Mr. Walker

yesterday ten boys played baseball in an empty lot
yesterday a scythe made it easier to field a grounder
yesterday the boys explored a sewer
using hair spray and a match to light the dark
yesterday the boys sailed in a tub on a small stream
yesterday their bikes demolished the sound barrier
when they sped down a hill worthy of the Tour de France
yesterday red and blue crepe paper decorated bike wheels,
a community celebrated July fourth
yesterday favorite recipes filled five banquet sized tables
yesterday plates of Moroccan stew, stuffed cabbage, green goddess salad
five layer cakes, chips and pretzels
yesterday Maryland crabs caught by the boys —
dumped out of buckets onto newspaper, then
passed hand-to-hand
ending in boiling water
yesterday returned in a letter,
years folded into a cream colored envelope
one of the ten
remains in yesterday

Linda Wastkin ©2011


  1. Oh heavens, Linda, the ending of this really got me.


  2. I too, like Mr.Walker's line and your poem draws such a vivid image of all that he was setting forth. The ending made me gulp and circle back several times. Oh!


  3. Every line leads us to that tragic end. So many wonderful yesterdays, but...

  4. So sad, but so skillfully written. The descriptions and images of yesterday took on a different light after the last lines. Excellent.

  5. Linda, Tight writing. It feels so purposeful; every word matters. Applause!

  6. So vivid a sense of time and place and then the perfect wrap at the end. So good.

  7. Linda, such a glorious set of images - "yesterday their bikes demolished the sound barrier" - they were making me smile - they were so much fun. And then that ending; I should have seen it coming the way you repeated "yesterday", but I didn't. It left me sad for that one. Thanks for being inspired by my line.


  8. Such deliberate lines create a vivid picture. Surprising images, yet so very real, especially the last line. Bravo.

    Thanks for being part of our circus, Linda. It's been a joy. xox