Back in the Old Home Town

Written by: Robert Ludden

You never think what is to come.
The little kid you smiled at
is a well-known author now, 
a thousand miles away; you found
the trash-filled lot you didn't care about
is now a church—                     
the nicest one around.
The old stockyards are gone.
Your young best friend is dead.

You think: that was the life I led, 
my very own behind my third-grade eyes.
And is the village park still there?
You'd settle for a journey back
across those 70 years—
with jackknife probe, dig up a marble, 
still intact, and now
three inches down.  You lost it once;
it was a shooter (big one) and
you couldn't understand just how it got away.
Poorer when you went to bed that night—
You'd traded off six glassies for it...
Yes.  The blue and white.  
It's got to be the one.

You knew the grown-ups wouldn't care—
no miracles for them,
just irony; a kid's old rusty knife 
could never be the tool
to resurrect their life.

The little park may still survive
upon a ghostly plain, you thought,
and not the marble, but a part of you
have lain there underneath the years 
not quite forgotten,
yet with some bewilderment
to see the sun again
                  ~