Roth Street Riff Circa 1963

By: Marilyn Narey

swinging sun-pinked arms moist
                                     we criss-cross melting asphalt
on grey metal skates clamped to scuffed canvas Keds
             our steel wheels    pulse    soft tar

Joey and Sam coast cool       cruise shirtless           barefoot              Roadmaster blu-u-u-e-s
                   skinned shins
                   pump hard
                   spokes spin
                           t t t t
                                        t t t t
                                        t t t t
                           t t t t
                   in dead-heat race
                   to corner stop sign
                   wheels grindddddd gravel       tanned hands        ssmmaACKK    a   high-five tie

down down baby       we clap       and      stomp
             get to the rhythm        twirl         our hips     shimmy shimmy pow

Sue scoops up stones
hops     one foot     two    through chalk-line squares

Sarah and Tess twirl the close-line rope   slap blacktop   clap slap clap slap
Gina’s bare brown soles mark   alternate     time
Anderson twins chant
                            teddy bear,
                                        teddy bear
                                                    turn a –
                                                                  round    touch the ground clap slap clap

July skies slide into dusk
                          streetlights come on

scatter us

Marilyn J. Narey is an educator, author, artist, and poet. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is a member of Fifth & Wood Poets Collective and Madwomen in the Attic. Her poetry has been published in the anthology, Voices from the Attic.