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(06/22/90 / Mattydale, NY)

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My Friends Don't Play Outside

I was talking to
An old neighbor
At the supermarket-

What was small talk
Turned into a more
Serious chat-

'The children in
Our neighborhood
Don't play outside
Anymore, ' the elderly woman cried-

'I know, it's sad, ' I replied-

'In my day,
We would be
Outside with the
Water hose-
Spraying each other-
The boys would play
Stick ball in the street
& Everyone was smiling, ' she said-

'Everyone was Happy..' She added-

'You're right, people don't
Seem as happy
These days, ' I said-

Then she said,
'There's too much
Fear, you know-
The Little fish in
The sea have
To eat too-
They can't just
Hide away
Because they're
Afraid of the sharks.'

I nodded in approval-

She smiled with
Her Beautiful-
Dusty grey eyes-

Finally, she said,
'Well- I'll leave you to it..'

& She went her own way
& We both forgot where
We were for a moment-
We forgot about our age
Difference-

While strange-lonely
Faces passed on by-
Staring at the ground-
Too Afraid to make
Eye contact with
Another lost Soul-

Submitted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 29, 2013


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Comments about this poem (Can You Kick It? by Benjamin Michael Clark )

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  • Danny Draper (9/1/2013 5:39:00 PM)

    Contact, connection and interaction are what allows individual to know each other and to form community and for children this is play and adventure and the freedom to explore and mischief and learn of from and about each other forming friendships and a bigger life with fun. Remember fun. Great write deftly crafted.

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  • Lyn Paul (8/30/2013 5:34:00 PM)

    Thank you Ralph. Yes we have wrapped our kids in cotton wool for often, stranger danger reasons or too busy excuses and handed them with eletronic beams. When outside holds many memories for me

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