~ Tonka Tots ~
We would dig for our toys in sandboxes,
occasionally discovering cat turds or broken helmets
from Lego astronauts. He would pretend his Tonka Truck
was larger than life size. Large enough to run over his Dad.
But also fast enough to race him to the hospital, because
he had a guilty conscience and felt bad. The sandbox became
the time machine with a beach feel, the surface of the moon, the stage
for our band to rock, with construction site appeal, all in one afternoon.
Evenings felt like eternities beside citronella flames.
Wiffle bats wrapped in duct tape that was still gooey from summer heat
stretched across lawns that were meant for games like badminton and croquet.
His family’s pool became an oasis until the doughboy’s sidewall gave out,
sending his younger brother into the weeds below the barbed wire fence adjacent. I can still see the fogged up goggles and hear the scream. He was okay, just scared, as well he should have been. And, in my memories, we saved lives from extra terrestrial threats, we constructed fortresses of solid gold filled with pound puppies and warrior poets. We battled ninjas, rode horses, tried to see who could hold their breath the longest underwater. We launched rockets that we had built ourselves, and always won the Super Bowl on the last play of the game. We did a lot during one of my mom’s shifts. We were epic enhancers of the universe, even though our training ground was the neighborhood litter box for feral cats. What better way to prepare us for the pitfalls of life.
#poetry #childhood #summerdays #kids #growingup #country #tonka #tonkatruck #tonkatrucks #photography #memories #friendship #play