OK, this is boys’ stuff, for sure. All the annoying pranks we played. We must have driven our parents and the neighborhood a bit crazy. But there was an innocence to it all, and I remember those childhood days fondly.
We piked dog crap on sticks
chased each other, whooping,
never minded where we wallowed,
our britches rank and grimy.
We pooped in window wells
wiped with Elephant Ears
loped away, chortling
collapsed under concealing willows.
We ran from slow Santos guarding school construction
spat down from the choir loft on Carmelite novena-goers
pushed Kevin Kell in through the milk box
grabbed up Bowman baseball cards and ran like hell.
Down at Klaiber’s delicatessen purloining Grapesicles,
yelling through St. Mary’s sanctuary
stranding proud American flags
knotting the ropes that hauled them down.
Seeking bold opportunity
on the night streets where we plied our mischief trade,
we pulled strings taut over summer evening sidewalks
flipped glowing pipes out of startled mouths.
We were the rollicking boys, thefting dad’s spyglass
watching Arlene Maitland strip down to her brassiere
at her bedroom window, then she pulled down the shades
and we didn’t know what masturbation was.
We moaned in the evening bushes, panicking Barbara Wood
told Sally Morgan only Catholics go to heaven
jammed a box of honeybees in Muck Fassett’s mailbox
leaped out grinning onto wailing diesel rail
Hissing out bicycle air in night garages
Scotch-taping thumbtacks to sisters’ chairs
billowing up sun-fires with magnifying glasses
dirt-warring, one side of Blantyre Road against the other.
We were rough boys till the stars popped out
taming us with the awesome Dipper
but we plotted in our night beds, whispering with the radio
clutched to our ears till we passed into innocent sleep.