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Friday, September 1, 2017

There Were Worlds Under Bushes

When I was small
bushes were big
and often hollow enough
to be a hide-away,
a secret place to pretend adventure
or listen to people who were not small.
One favorite bush was behind a neighbor's garage,
just to the side of the big door that swung open
(as garage doors did in those days)
and nearly crushed us inside our bush hide-away.
We saw him approach.
Did he hear us plotting our adventure?
We went silent as he unlatched the door,
swung it open,
trapped us,
until he drove his car out,
closed and re-latched the door.
We could breath again.
Had he heard us?

. --- .

Come to think of it, I spent a lot of time under bushes in my early years. There were the giant clumps of what seemed like giant lilac bushes in the park at Hamline and Minnehaha that we called Bible School Park. Each clump housed a maze of paths and rooms kept open by the feet of playing children.. A drugstore, a dentist, a shoemaker, a radio repair place for picking up new tubes for a broken radio, a small co-op grocery store, all gave practical reasons for going to the corner. Also, for kids the park's grass surrounding the lilac clumps served a convenient place for a pickup baseball or football game. From here, as a five-year old I took my buddy, Buddy, on an adventure to the Fairgrounds. But that's another story.

Heading north from the the neighborhood up Snelling avenue the world descended into the ancient stream bed through which ran two railroads and within which gravel pits were large and active throughout my childhood. If we crossed Snelling to the south side, and before the bridge over the first railroad, we left the side walk, we descended into a wild land of bushes and grasses—a neglected place that looked like it should house the hobos we had heard about. We could get lost there in our own world of Tom-Sawyer adventure. Once we extended our adventure west along the railroad tracks toward what we knew might be Minneapolis. But that's another story.

(c) from date of posting, by Bob Komives, Fort Collins 

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