Sno-ball stand, 1971

July 03, 1996|By Colleen M. Webster

In my childhood it was always summer

and Peter Wilson was always older than me --


but I, at six, owned the sno-ball machine

cranked for ice chips. Chocolate syrup

we both contributed, later adding plastic

toy surprises in the bottom of cups.

Surprise! Surprise! Batman figure! Yo-yo!


Brian Hart never came to our stand.

I would not have sold him anything, anyway,

would have spit into his sweet ice.


Instead, most days, I perched behind

the picnic table and listened to Peter's

version of world news, one step removed

from his father's rendering

of the morning Baltimore Sun.


''Yeah, they gotta send more guys over, 'cause

those gooks are sneaky

and don't give up.''

I understood.

Brian Hart was always sneaking near me

and never gave up trying to pull down



All summer I waited

for Brian to be -- Surprise! -- drafted

and sent far away into jungles

with no girls, no sno-balls.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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