Dirt and stick
were all a farm child needed.
City kid? Just asphalt and chalk to
scotch a pattern like the one etched in
concrete at the Roman Forum. Nine blocks
stacked atop one another, some resting
side by side, the grid crowned with
a circle labeled London or
Heaven or Home.
Alone or with
friends, you tested
your skills: pitched
rocks sequentially into blocks, hopped one- legged
without smudging a line, twirled round and retraced
your path, stopping only to bend down and retrieve
a marker for one’s
soul in China.
Tight fisted, exiting the grid, your reward was to
repeat the moves until your aim failed or you
spilled to the ground. No referees or written rules
and when you
tired, you dragged
through the clay
or watched as