Category Archives: Sy Roth

CHASING POPSICLE STICKS

CHASING POPSICLE STICKS
Sy Roth

The Good Humor man jangles the neighborhood
With his Christmas sleigh bells,
Tiny chinging bells tinkle softly announcing his impending arrival.
Then increasing in volume, children-buzz takes over
A hearty handshake of the string of bells
And neighborhood children rush headlong to surrender the change
They had collected for just these muggy weekday afternoons.

They surround his truck
Vying for the spot closest to the door
To feel the rush of cold dry ice air
And to place their orders for popsicles on a stick.
The Good Humor man always obliges good humoredly,
Clicking coin genius blindly into coin slots
And correctly depressing the lever each time to make exact change.

Yesterday a car crashed into a Good Humor enthusiast
And the long evening was spent talking about his flight
And ultimate landing in a broken red-pulpy mass on the sidewalk
Inking his way into bloody oblivion.
The pain only assuaged by the juicy confection that still required licking.

Today the tinny bells recede after the last filled-order
And the children congregate on their stoops to bite off
Chunks of the orange sherbet and vanilla concoction
Making sure not to lose one jot of it
Sucking the popsicle sticks dry
Until, when they had collected enough of them,
they could weave them into hot-plate trays
Or hone them to a fine edge to dibble one another.

The image of the flying squirrel had receded
And they chased their popsicle sticks until bedtime.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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