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    Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY is delighted to announce the following poems have been nominated for inclusion in 2024’s Best of the Net anthology: Flight Path by Laura RodleyThe Sonnet by Ed HackRailway Station, Bendery, Moldova by Tovli SimiryanBaptism by Greg WatsonMaking Up by Larina WarnockAll the best stories are true by Julia Klatt Singer —read more—

Hot town by Bonnie Proudfoot

Hot town

summer in the city. Yes, there was shade,
a few trees that felt as if they were only
there for show, yes there were sprinklers
at the Little Park for the little kids, swings
and slides too, glaring in the sun and no one
daring to slide down, but once we were old
enough to cross the avenue to the Big Park,
the game was the thing. That hard rubber
ball smacking against the wall, hitting
concrete, bouncing crazy, you had to blast
across the court to smack it back. No matter
if your parents owned or rented, on a court
you were only as good as your best day,
as good as your best swing, your timing
and your aim, a chance to hit that seam
where the wall meets the concrete, the lower
the angle, the slower the ball, the goal
is your ball dribbling back along the ground.
A kill shot. Impossible to return. No one
cared how hot it was, or whether the sweat
stung into their eyes or down their arms,
losing meant you had to wait and watch.
We came of age on a slab of cement, on
a slap of a serve, on callouses and swollen palms,
on winners always ruling the court, winners
always late for supper, winners never wanting
the sun to sink, never wanting summer to end.

by Bonnie Proudfoot

Editor’s Note: This poem’s tidy line breaks and clear narrative easily draw the reader into a memory of summer childhood, where nostalgia glosses over the heat and the game meant everything.


7 responses to “Hot town by Bonnie Proudfoot”

  1. Bonnie Proudfoot Avatar

    many thanks, Christine! funny how one song lyric can be a conduit for a memory, a poem!

    1. Christine Klocek-Lim Avatar

      True! Every time I see you poem that song pops up in my head.

  2. Art Hernandez Avatar

    four square. butts up. kick ball in the street. football on the street. hopscotch. yup.

  3. Jeff Hanson Avatar
    Jeff Hanson

    Love the energetic dynamics of the images in this poem, Bonnie. You took me back to my childhood when I’d spend hours playing hard while getting sweaty and grimy. Haven’t thought of those days in a long time. Thanks. 🙂

  4. Pamela Avatar

    I miss the summers of my youth where we hated the day to end, but so happy to wake up to another one!!!!!

  5. Madeline Artenberg Avatar
    Madeline Artenberg

    Love the detail in Bonnie’s vibrant poem.

  6. The Amethyst Lamb Avatar

    This is a lovely, nostalgic poem. ❤️

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