I sat on an old woven lawn chair with my portable typewriter on a TV tray in front of me. My handwritten sign read, “Poetry, Hot off the Presses! Only $1 per poem. Any subject!”
It was so hot it hurt, so I’d brought a parasol to hide under, planning for the time in between the few poems I expected to write. By 10 AM, the farmer’s market a half a block away was bustling and I had a line of customers that was almost 10-deep!
First in line were 3 young people with bright dyed hair—blue, green and pink. They chose Marx, Spelunking, and Mt. Everest for their poems. College students.
Two little boys waited sort of patiently towards that back of the line. Every now and then they would run by me, first one chasing, then the other. I heard them talking about a bug on a leaf and one of their balls flew by my head when they were playing catch. Their mom held their place in line and occasionally re-directed their rambunctiousness to quieter things.
The youngest was a daredevil—he was the first to jump in the fountain (to his mother’s dismay), the first to dive head first after a ball or to throw down a challenge, a double dog dare ya to the older brother. At long last, he stood before me grinning with his lower jaw stuck out.
“What should I write your poem about?” I asked.
He squirmed for a few long seconds and then said, “BREASTS!” in a loud voice and ran behind his mother, who flushed purple, but smiled at me.
“Coming right up, young man!”
Big and small
Far and wide
Bounce and jiggle,
They sure don’t hide.
You can see ‘em
in the grocery store
and at the market, too.
You can even find ‘em when you go
to buy your baseball shoes.
I pulled it out of the typewriter with flourish. He hid behind his mother, but reached around her to grab his poem. He ran away with it held above his head.