Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six on a Stoop By Ed Galing



we were all young kids
back then, on the lower east
side of new york, and in the
summer time we sat outside
on the stoop, watching the
people pushing and shoving,
and the pushcarts, and the
garbage, and the noise…
and we would make fun of it
all, like little brats often
do…there were six of us, all
of us full of beans,
for instance, little red-haired
betty, with white stockings,
sticking her tongue out as people
walked by us, and saying stupid
things, like nyah, nyah, nyah…
there was irving, about ten years
old, small, black hair, who
made up songs as people walked by,
and we all laughed as he pointed
out people, and then there was
harry, who lived in the same building,
about eleven, and played a trumpet
so loud we banged on his door…
he would sit on the stoop with us
and make noises with his mouth, like
a trumpet…a real goof ball…
in the summer time, when it was so
hot, we made the stoop our meeting hall…
we chewed gum, hit each other playfully,
and threw things around, and that’s
how the summer went for us…nobody
gave a darn about tomorrow…we were
just kids…in poverty…
years later, as it does,
one of us became a dancer on broadway,
another became a famous song writer,
and still another an orchestra leader,
the other three never amounted
to much, though they tried, because
you can’t really get anywhere, sitting
on a stoop on the lower east side,
no matter how much you try


* From Mobius magazine.

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