40/365: My Own Boy

cat's eye

I had a bag full of cat's eye marbles,
the kind we all had;
mine were ages old and chipped, though,
they played wobbly,
but it was no matter:
I didn't play.
I carried marbles in a Crown Royal bag
just to hear the clack and chink inside purple flannel
and think about my uncles 20 and 30 years before
who rolled them up against their thumb knuckles
so they could kick them out.
I became the boy with leather-soled shoes
and Brylcreem in his hair.
Maybe someone hit me in the shoulder.
Maybe I oiled a ball glove.
Maybe my hands smelled like my grandmother's soap.
I'd run home to eat sandwiches
and ignore my own name.
I'd kick up my heels like Fred Astaire.
I'd whistle through grass blades.
I was my own boy.

I am writing one poem every day in 2016, and I am using the hashtag #365poems to document my progress.