63rd Street: An Ode to Childhood

We wore slap bracelets and pants that swished. Housed somewhere between paradise and Cobbs Creek where the drill teams pounded percussion into our bloodstreams. We’d beg our parents for water ice in the summertime, itching to dangle from monkey bars or play freeze tag. The very mention of water balloon fights threatened the glory of our fresh braids and high-top fades. Yesterday’s blood-dried scrapes were forgotten. We were too preoccupied to notice the wood chips tickling the bottoms of our feet until the walk home. Cricket chirps, lightning bugs and moths prophet us with knowing that the day was well spent. Our teeth became stars of jubilee rivaling the streetlights. These were the days before it mattered that I couldn’t jump double-dutch. My heart hop-scotched to private ideas about rainbows and happy meals. Back then, I harnessed the boon of the present moment. Back then, I could reach for a cloud and give it a name.

Courtney C. Gambrell was born in Philadelphia, PA, where she currently resides. She is a Fellow of The Watering Hole whose poems have appeared in APIARY Magazine, As/Us Journal, For Harriet, Philadelphia Stories, the Healing Verse Philly Poetry Line and elsewhere.