Between the courthouse, where my brothers all
appeared in turn, and the old jail, where they were
lucky enough not to, there was Locust Alley
and Willards, where we used sticks for swords.
“Un-guard!” we cried, all the way home from
a Zorro matinee at the Roxy or the Garden,
the only two theaters in town, right across
the street from each other. That block of Mary’s
Alley that ran behind our house and Aunt Cindy’s,
where the guy pulled a switchblade on me,
and I let my tricycle topple over as I ran?
It’s been turned to turf, along with all those
neighboring lots, for the baseball field
at Robb School. Our old double-block home
has been replaced by first base. Second
is where Ross, the bully, stole my Sears
banana bike and removed the training wheels.
He’s buried now in Swissdale cemetery
near my cousin Sam—two accidents,
a motorcycle and a boy’s first car.
Home plate is where Mrs. Seyler lived.
How we made her pay for all the frisbees
and balls she kept when they crossed over her
hedge. Someone told Gino’s mom who called
the cops. How we should have cheered when we
saw her crying. How the officer lowered his eyes.
How he gave you the ball, and walked away.
David J. Bauman is the author of two poetry chapbooks, most recently, Angels & Adultery, selected by Nickole Brown for the Robin Becker Series (Seven Kitchens Press, 2018). He has new poems published or forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Watershed Review, Citron Review, and Third Wednesday. His recent poetry reviews have appeared in Windhover and Whale Road Review. A resident of Pennsylania, he attended IWU in Marion where his first son was born.