at my junior high
on the playground
which barely qualified as a playground
more like a prison yard without the sentries
we had tetherball poles
only no tetherballs.
just the poles and the strings.
during one of my periods of homelessness
i would try to sleep in this playground
but usually wound up sittinng there
in the dark
looking at the shadows
now without strings
cast in the moonlit dirt.
after trying in vain to sleep
i decided the poles without purpose have had enough purposelessness
we’ve all had enough
these kids needed poles with strings
with balls on the end
that they could punch and send hurdling through space towards whomever was on the other side.
we needed meaning
these poles and i
I grabbed my sketchbook
scribbled a note
tore out the page
slapped the note to one of the poles with some gum
“BRING US THE BALLS ON STRINGS OR WE WILL PUT YOUR HEADS ON THESE POLES. ~ thank you, the children.”
I never went back.
I found much nicer places to sleep.