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The Melting Pot

The humid air sweats streaming curls down the toddler’s flush cheeks like Fusilli hot from the stove. The golden ringlets cling to her forehead, bouncing like Slinky’s in front of her, blue-agate, eyes. The backyard’s sounds-bat cracks and wise cracks-surround her. Squeals echo from the mounds of loam behind her new house. The homes out back form a red, yellow, blue, green monopoly board configuration.

The sand box she sits in is full of scrap two-by-four blocks. Using a naked purple-haired troll doll, she attacks the pine-block castle, tumbling the battlement. A plank spans the puddle 
(created by the leaky green garden hose). The barefoot tike, troll in hand, starts across the board toward the moonscape of mud mounds; where her sister and friends run screeching armed with rotten tomatoes. She almost makes it before falling in and running mud covered to mother.

Polish Catholics, Italian Catholics and Irish Catholics, lived side by side with English Presbyterian’s and we errant, runaway, Jews. The scent of tomato paste, knackwurst and borscht wafts through the same soupy air, where we play King of the Mountain. Big Boys and Plum tomatoes flew indiscriminately through the August air like missiles. The only thing which stopped the action was the distance ringing bell of the Good Humor truck, here on Cherry Tomato Alley. Here where each new neighbor had transplanted themselves: their children, their gardens, their sprinklers, and their cars to fulfill the American dream.

First Published in Melancholy Hyperbole Spring 2015


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  1. Date: 8/29/2015 10:19:00 PM

    Interesting take on the melting pot and childhood here. Are you one of the Tribe? Peace & Love Matthew Anish
  1. Date: 8/28/2015 11:30:00 AM

    Feeling like an observer right now rather than just a reader. You make it easy to imagine, Deb. Loved this. hugs!
  1. Date: 8/27/2015 12:14:00 PM

    Oh Deb......I'm there !! I can smell, touch, feel, and hear this summertime delight, all my senses are childlike, but so real with longing. I want to run behind the truck, and taste a fudgesicle on my tongue, hear the laughter, and sand in my mary-jane shoes! Love this a lot !!
  1. Date: 8/27/2015 8:35:00 AM

    Beautiful and that's what it's all about 'cause we're all in this together.
  1. Date: 8/26/2015 10:27:00 PM

    Lovely, full of joy and innocence. Shame you can't cut and paste that summer around the globe. Great write, Debbie. Viv x
  1. Date: 8/25/2015 8:19:00 PM

    Ah, the air of City life...who could consider less when planted so deep...awesome dear poet [philly boy 'till death]...have a wonderful week Debbie....much love, james
  1. Date: 8/23/2015 10:57:00 PM

    Loverly. Zat U?
  1. Date: 8/23/2015 8:24:00 PM

    lots of great imagery in this one, Deb. I think my favorite was an olfactory experience of those mingling aromas. Very nicely done. L&H, catie :)
  1. Date: 8/23/2015 8:02:00 PM

    Very descriptive poem, it feels like I am there with you Deb, it is such a delight to read this tonight, xxx