Some life lessons are best caught,
like the ones you learn on the monkey bars.
I grew up in a little town that boasted
a city pool and a large playground.
My mom used to take us for
swimming lessons and play time.
She’d sit on a towel,
slathered in baby oil,
soaking up the rays and
reading a book
while we would splash around in the
freezing cold spring-fed pool.
The playground was comprised of
equipment that is probably illegal now.
Don’t picture colorful plastic structures
with safety rails and seat belts.
The 14’ slide was a narrow piece of metal
pitched at a (nearly) 90 degree angle.
The swing set shuddered and lifted off the ground
as we built momentum.
The teeter-totter was so long and high that
if you were on it with a mean kid,
you could get launched into next week or
dumped on your keister so hard
it knocked the wind out of you.
We had three different types of metal monkey bars.
We had the traditional one with two ladders and a crossbar.
Another one was shaped like a dome and the
third one resembled a stack of cubes.
We played house in the dome and cubes
while we waited to get big enough
to tackle the traditional monkey bars.