Bio Note: I live in northeastern Kentucky, where I edit Shiela-Na-Gig online and Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. Across the river in Ohio, I am a professor of English for a branch campus of Ohio University, teaching American Literature, composition, and creative writing.
The neighborhood kids are going for the record: the longest chalk hopscotch, starting at 103 Meadowlark, hop-skipping-jumping, winding its way through our small patch of Kentucky roadscape. One square, one foot. Two squares, two feet. Each box a unique geometry, depending on the writing skills of its young maker, tumbles up the middle of the asphalt till some mom guides the installation towards the safety of our edged lawns. At box 535 the oldest boy begins to count by hundreds, squares 600, 700, 800, stretching beyond four houses, rounding into the cul-de-sac, past Friday’s recycling bins, then up the street again, flanked by pink happy-face hearts, rainbow-tailed unicorns, blue cats, purple flowers. The project goes on for days, easily beating the record – heading back home with over 1800 squares. The joy is in the making. No one thinks about Ripley’s rules or worries about tire treads slowly taking up colorful hues, the nighttime critters nosing through the chalk-box, or even, inevitably, the sudden rain.
©2020 Hayley Mitchel Haugen
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL