“Where I Grew Up”
The storm drains opened wide
as big corrugated sewer pipes.
Rain water meandered into big fields,
where us kids skipped and played.
Mostly, it was dry or just a little damp.
Concrete canals carved
the retention pond into
quarters. These divided the playing fields
of soccer, volleyball, baseball, or other.
Except for when it filled
by days of rain, we played here.
It always seemed strange though,
a little off— that we could climb
into these tunnels and walk as far
as the bravest of us dared.
Everyone knew we did this.
Everyone knew we played
here. And everyone knew the sewers
were uncovered gateways to disaster.
If one of us had been swept away,
lost, murdered— etcetera—
I’m certain those sewer pipes
would have been covered.
But where I grew up, no one
seemed to have foresight
except for the children
who would not enter—
and left behind handfuls of baseballs
for the kid with a death wish to discover.