My poem, Skully, is up at the Red Eft Review today. Here is the poem (it is written in three line stanza):


Last Saturday we met at Denny’s bar

up on Remsen Avenue by the old Seltzer plant.

The pregame show flashed on the big screen

as Sal took a long sip of beer, 

and brought out an old peppermint tin—

inside was a worn RC Cola cap and a piece of chalk

“Remember Skully,” he asked?

as if we’d ever forget

the street game we played as kids 

on four squares of Brooklyn sidewalk—

a game as New York City

as the Empire State Building.

How we prized those bottle caps,

each of us with a lucky one or two—

history written in a hundred scuffs.

We lived small back then

and had to guard the caps from our moms—

who were known to throw out anything

that “sat out.”

I recognized Sals’ RC cap.

He won it from me in the summer of ’54.

We were out the door in a Budweiser minute.

And that afternoon—instead of watching another b-ball game

we chalked the court and played like the children we once were.

Down on hands and knees we flicked bottle caps

with arthritic fingers and called each other 

by nicknames we thought forgotten.

At the end of that afternoon

I had won the RC cap back—

at least until the rematch.

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2 Responses to Skully

  1. maryrohrerdann says:

    Sweet! I really like the line “We lived small back then” – yes, and what a great way to live

    (and I have taken note of the Brooklyn location & seared it into my brain)

    Mary Rohrer-Dann

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

    Mary Oliver “The Summer Day”


    • stevieslaw says:

      Thanks Mary. Four of us in three rooms and my dad worked nights. It was efficient when the heat quit. No more The Bronx talk. If my friends even suspected that I was even for a Bronxite, there would be trouble. I can hear them now.

      Sent from my iPad



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