Missing Dennis

Missing Dennis prose poem

Photo by Tim Pierce

Back then, life for kids was harder than it should have been
They say that kids had rights too, but I don’t remember when
Back then, if there were child labor laws, they never told us
If labor laws for kids were broken, none made a fuss

Back then, I remember chopping weeds in the oven of the sun
Kids had to work long hours, but we also played and had lots of fun
Back then, kids played cowboys and Indians in the light of day,
And chased lightning bugs in the black of night

Back then, I had a friend name Dennis, and he was not a menace
We played baseball, basketball, football, but not golf or tennis
Dennis and I lived on opposite sides of the busy railroad track;
And he had a big brother who rode a mule loaded with cotton sacks
Yes, Dennis and I were very best buddies in our early days
But the years went by as we grew older, and went our separate ways

When I think of Dennis, I happily remember the good times of our childhood
We kept busy shooting marbles and rolling rubber tires throughout the neighbourhood.
I haven’t heard from Dennis, but I would love to see him if I could

I once heard it said in a Christian song that friends are friends forever
I sure hope to see my friend Dennis on this side of never
Perhaps we could laugh and talk about farm life and the fun times
Perhaps we could remind each other when we bought ice cream for a dime
Perhaps we could chat about when kids were free and fearless of crime
Perhaps we could laugh about the gray hairs on our heads and under our chins
Perhaps we could talk about the distant days and ask, “Remember when?”
Perhaps we could share our stories of how we changed from boys to men

On this side of never, we would write a letter, email, or visit every now and then
On this side of never, we would both recall when our money was very thin
On this side of never, we would reminisce about house roofs made of tin

Yes, I well recall “The Perhaps”, “The Back Then’s”, and “The Remember When’s”
And I do miss Dennis, and I hope to see him before this life is finished

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I am a retired minister and the husband of Barbara for 42 years. We reside in Sacramento ,Ca. We have two sons and a daughter, and we are the proud grandparents of 6 children.
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2 Comments on "Missing Dennis"

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Balveen Cheema

Your poem reminded me of my childhood friend, Rani-she left for America, never corresponded-thirty five years down the line, I still remember our childhood joys and miss her.



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