Tag Archives: family

P. S. #187

When my brother and I were younger we played games in our room, usually an assortment of made-up things to pass the time, but the feats to see who was stronger or faster, were serious business!. When the weather shed it’s snow and cold, we could be found outside, on the playground. He in the sandbox, playing with matches and fluid to light the barbeque (yes, he was a pyro) and I on the swingset or hot metal slide. There were also those “family” ocassions, when Pachisi or the checkerboard for a game of checkers was brought out of the coat closet for the four of us to battle one on one with the roll of the dice.
I can remember my father telling stories of his youth, which was so very different than ours. He grew up in New York City, Washington Heights to be exact. I thought it was a cool place, but then again, as I child I always fancied the more odd or bohemian and thought those children were lucky to have so much within their reaches, but i quickly learned that the city is no place for childhood, according to my dad.
The one place that I found most interesting was the roof of his apartment building. That is where my father practiced playing the drums. It is actually a great place to play them, for the city’s hum, drummed out, no pun intended, the racket he was surely making.
One of the most unusual uses for the city rooftop, can be found in the buildings that house the schools. Dad didn’t grow up with expanses of land between buildings, so where else were they to put the gymnasium? That’s right, he had gym class on the top floor, which was the roof. A few years after telling us this fact, we saw firsthand what he meant. On a trip to see my parents good friends who lived in Brooklyn, we drove up and down the streets of his old neighborhood. Dad was always pointing up, to show the gargoyles that donned the facade, but we slowed down to a stop, when he pointed up, it was a school, his old stomping ground. Where he dribbled basketballs, learned a proper push up, and played the all-time kids favorite – Dodge Ball.
My brother seemed bothered by this and asked why there was a fence on the roof, and Dad said that they’d lose too many balls if it weren’t there. Of course they would, not to mention that someone may fall off themselves!.

-dld January 24, 2011-

*P. S. #187, Public School #187
ThinkingTen – On Location, Mondays: On the roof

“Live a little on very little!” *

Some thought it was crazy,
having a reunion on New Year’s Eve,
but there we were
decked-out in our finest prom gowns and tuxes,
platform shoes. corsages and cumberbunds.
The music was pure Soul Train meets The Stones,
but we still danced in that silly line, boy, girl, boy, girl –
doing the hokey-pokey just one more time
if only for the sake of reminiscing.

As the bewitching hour grew nearer,
I asked the waitress to bring us a bottle of Champale,
and a round of eight glasses, not the juvenile plastic we used to use.
Back in the day, we sported ourselves with this drink made in Trenton,
acting sophisticated and wise
while we got trashed and drove home not knowing if we stopped
at that red light on Main Street and Vine.

Ten, nine, eight, seven
hugs, smiles and toasting six, five, four, three
two, one Woo-Hoo!
We all laughed as we threw that bottle
and smashed the wall
with our glasses, not cups,
we knew our lives hadn’t changed much at all.

We exhanged addresses and phone numbers,
swearing we’d stay in touch,
but we knew that time, family and work
stood in the way of such.

Tonight, however, we were happy to be
in the same ballroom as that night in ’78,
hootin’ and hollerin’ until it was late
and the price for our limos was exceeding the limit
of cash left in our pockets.
Promises were made,
only to be said in politeness.

Hail to our class,
may this next year be fruitful and happy,
our bodies healthy
and may all of our soul’s be righteous!

-dld december 15th, 2010
* Tag line for Champale
the Muse is IN writing group: prompt #96 – Choose a sentence and keep going with it:
Laughing, we smashed bottles against the wall….
We hid beneath the shacks, small pebbles in our mouths …
I asked the waitress…
((I chose them two!!!))

All the Tomorrow’s

At the end of the day,
i found an envelope
addressed to me
i grabbed it, sat down
with a hot cup of cider
to read what it said,
then my eyes opened wider.
it said thank you for being here,
i feel love, i feel care.
i was empty and lost,
in mangled self-dispair.
But now I feel whole again
thanks to your touch
your whispers
your smile
– they mean so much.
As i think of the time spent with family today,
I am thankful you’re here.
What more can I say
to the woman I love so
who has entered my life
giving of honesty, trust and pleasure –
now I don’t strife
about all the tomorrow’s,
for they’ll be spent with you by my side
Together in happiness,
as husband and wife.
-dld November24th
Writing Challenge for the KMWriting Club

the chance to say

it’s been some time since i read this aloud to you dad…

~ the chance to say ~

i turned each page of the photo album
watched each of us age
from childhood, up on through to the
last place we vacationed as a family.
some of the stills were candid shots
some were just plain ole hamming it up.

after each album was closed
i sat for a while and thought about the moments
not captured with a camera, mostly
the moments of the past few years.

how i was a child at times and you yelled at me
i cried,
ran to my room and slammed the door.

there were disagreements
many of those –
but hey, they’re expected between parent/child.

then you had a feeling
felt you should talk to me
tell me
all the things that have built up over the years.
i am so much like you
the stubborn-ness, the will and drive to
get something important, the same big mouth.
we even look alike.
the same sensitivity.
so much like you
i am.

you finally released
i love you
while crying in my room
one august night.
you knew.
you knew that it wouldn’t be much longer.
and you might not get the chance to say
you love me.
and you might not get the chance to hear me say
i love you, too

– dld, october twenty-second nineteen seventy nine –
……one month and three days after my dad passed away.