I
This is a schoolyard
crowded
with children
 
of all ages near a village
on a small stream
meandering by
 
where some boys
are swimming
bare-ass
 
or climbing a tree in leaf
everything
is motion
 
elder women are looking
after the small
fry
 
a play wedding a
christening
nearby one leans
 
hollering
into
an empty hogshead
 
II
 
Little girls
whirling their skirts about
until they stand out flat
 
tops pinwheels
to run in the wind with
or a toy in 3 tiers to spin
 
with a piece
of twine to make it go
blindman’s-buff follow the
 
leader stilts
high and low tipcat jacks
bowls hanging by the knees
 
standing on your head
run the gauntlet
a dozen on their backs
 
feet together kicking
through which a boy must pass
roll the hoop or a
 
construction
made of bricks
some mason has abandoned
 
III
 
The desperate toys
of children
their
 
imagination equilibrium
and rocks
which are to be
 
found
everywhere
and games to drag
 
the other down
blindfold
to make use of
 
a swinging
weight
with which
 
at random
to bash in the
heads about
 
them
Brueghel saw it all
and with his grim
 
humor faithfully
recorded
it.

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