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.