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Streetlights ~ by Katrina Curtiss 10.13.2022

We ran and we played all though the hood
Doing things we shouldn’t and things that we should
Over fences, through ditches we made our way
That’s how children played back in the day.

Each neighbor we knew, whose yard to avoid
The ones who would not give back our most precious toys
Games in the street, black tar on our feet
Never a stranger did anyone meet.

Mother’s at home, doors never locked
None of us knowing the time on the clock
But one simple rule, to never make wrong
Was to run home as soon as the Streetlights came on.


I have a lovely neighbor; we sit in her driveway most afternoons and chat.
Topics change as swift as the tide, she tells hers, I tell mine.
We both step back in time, when life seemed easier, kinder, more tribe like.

Entertainment was found outside, hooked up to nature, to friends, not electronics.

A trip to the library was exciting, Halloween was fearless, phones were a privilege with 10 minute time limits.

It was the golden rule: “Be home when the Streetlights come on.”

Up until we arrived home, merriment and adventure lurked around every corner.

Kids weren’t given labels, we were “good” or “bad” and a paddle was sometimes
the consequence.

As I grow older, I realize that I am the keeper of stories…

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    Fond memories indeed. For white middle class families, it was a great time.

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