It moves me when I see
grown ups playing
in the street with children
It shows me that they still understand
the thrill of kicking soccer balls
into Mrs. Beyler’s yard
or whacking baseballs
behind Mrs. Heward’s house
and then running for all they’re worth
rounding bases, mostly gunny sacks,
from barns or shingles blown off the house.
When the games are finished
or when their wives call them
from the front porch, they trudge
toward home, T-shirts drenched
in sweat, their voices carrying stories
of great slides, nifty catches with one hand.
Slowly they each turn into their own
yards, sensing that youth stays in the streets.
They open the front door
of their mortgaged houses,
don their disguise of maturity,
slip through the portals of adulthood,
leaving the boy at the door.