Salad Days :: published in Blue Lotus

Listen :: Minor Threat :: Salad Days

Salad Days
Too young to work, too bored
to sit in our parents’ houses.
Mandy and I get there early.

                The smell of homemade potato pancakes,
                halluski, pierogies, funnel cakes saturate the air
                             June through August.
This year
              8ozJoe is playing
the Holy Name bazaar.  

We do laps around the lot,
        meander around instant bingo
              booths and raffles    
       for crocheted toilet paper covers.

                Kids in baggy jeans and mohawks,
 newsboy hats, and checkered suspenders jumble
         among old men in high-water pants dancing
  with old women in support hose
         rolled down at the knee.

We claim
         a patch of grass
  to the side of
     the rows of folding chairs
              in front of the band shell   :    wait
      for the Polka Kings to finish their set.

Duck, duck, duck, Chris pats
      everyone’s head. Duck, duck,
goose! Mandy leaps
up
chases him
                         around.
     He         hurdles                         over three of us
to the empty space –
                    Duck, duck, Mandy begins.           
I don’t hear                                                              
       goose! as she bops           
me on the head.             
                     I catch
                             the back of her T-shirt,
she dives        for the gap,
       we both fall.
The group rules her safe,
I’m it.  
   Duck, duck, duc…             

                                                                                        
                       Two children trip toward us,
battling with foam swords.
                We jump up, back away, afraid
we will become casualties.

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