Indeed I do remember that poem and the impact on my boybrain of its paradoxes, but I only remember hearing the first four lines – from a slightly older and more worldly kid – and being enthralled by it where I stood, with pockets full of slingshot, pebbles and lizards; then sometime later I heard the two lines about the deaf policeman, which gave me a sense that the poem was somehow growing along with me; the last lines I never knew of before until I read them for the first time right here on the reunification of disjointed time that is The Blog Brothers.
What strikes me most about the poem now is how oddly predictive it was of all the death we defied over the years until finally arriving largely intact here on the elder shores of sanity. I know boys in general go through some hair-raising stunts, usually involving cars (there were a lot of those in our history too, and many friends who were suddenly no longer with us); in our case, though, the stunts involved just about everything two hyperinventive young guys could think of. Which may not be all that unusual for a couple of smartass curious males, close in age, who are pretty much let run free from childhood on.
These days, though, recollection of those moments makes me break out in a cold sweat, which is conveniently warming at my age, eases my now pointless cold feet (where were they when I needed them?) and makes all the more precious the fact that we have survived.
One very warming example is the morning we found that beautiful Luger in the attic…