His American Flyer

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His American Flyer

His American Flyer

My feet swept dirt
up and away in
the Alley –
making clouds of
dust.

My friends and I
kicked the can,
and boys sped by
showing off with
Mickey Mantle
spinning between the
frame of a new
American Flyer.

Mama dressed me
in fancy clothes,
frills and petticoats
red socks and patent
leather shoes, to scuff
about the Little League
field, to watch my brother
swing a bat.

It was a time when
stones were tossed
instead of kisses,
and names were carved
on garage doors. When
soiled clothes were hung
from yard to yard, and
running boards were
homemade rides.

A time when Mama
sat on our old red sofa
sewing dance costumes…
while I watched
my brother outside
riding around the
alleyway on his
American Flyer.

He caught lightening
bugs – poured liquid
over butterflies, to kill them.
He fussed with Mama’s
tweezers as he spread
a butterflies wings to
be on display on white
cotton.

I wanted to fly
like the butterfly.
I wanted to speed
away on my brother’s
Red American Flyer.

I grew up in the
Alley with all
neighborhood boys –
I grew up watching
the Yankees being
torn apart by twisting
metal between spokes.

I watched as Mama
kept box scores
and the Yankees won
another world series

It was Mama and I
sitting side by side on our
hand me down sofa, her
swigging her beer and
smoking the last cigarette.
Her, screaming
in front of our ten-inch
television because one
of her favorites struck
out.

I guess Mama never had
an American Red Flyer,
and she never knew I
wanted to fly – like a
butterfly.

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