Wednesday, June 24, 2015



I remember those Bronx summers.
We kids waited inpatiently for cars
to pass, before running
into the frothy, freezing
water of the fire hydrant,
falling hard on dirty, mean street
converted to playground until
the fireman came.  Big, tall with authority,
armed with a huge wrench, 
he'd close down the fun.
Of course, no one ever knew 
who'd been lawless, defiant enough
to provide such free entertainment.
But we were all grateful, if not for 
a drenching, at least for being able 
to watch, to feel the freshness of 
gushing water, amidst the stifling,
humid, hot oppression of inner city summer air.

Today, I smile as I think of my summers,
so comfortable now.  I can play in real water parks,
or simply enjoy the shade in my yard, where 
only rabbits break the rules, 
stealing vegetables from the garden.

I still think too of Bronx summers.
How I moved aside, making room
for kids today.
Some say they're lucky.
Sprinkler caps for fire hydrants
make it possible for them
to legally play in the water.
It falls gentler now, on dirty,
mean streets, amidst the stifling, 
hot oppression of inner city summer air.

 (For Poets United.)


  1. Vivid memory! Play with water - what can be more delightful in hot summer!

  2. You know, there is something that those days of "free" fun we had that a waterpark will never have though. It is sweet release on that scorching asphalt, for sure. Cool memories, myrna.

  3. I love that the solstice heat took you back there, almost as if to measure the distance. All days were longer then, and full of many children. Funny how things like legally playing in water during the heat never makes the papers!

  4. I love the vivid picture you painted of your childhood summers in the Bronx. Those fire hydrant sprays the only relief no doubt, for many kids. I love your summers now, where you seek the shade of your garden and watch the bunny sneaking carrots.

  5. A nostalgic poem filled with childhood memories. You have captured the oppressiveness of the inner city heat. One cannot help but compare situations. We are so lucky here in Sydney. There are inner city areas like this but they are all a short distance to a number of beaches.Now they are all gentrified and cost a fortune to live in.Interesting poem. Enjoyed it.

  6. I still think too of Bronx summers.
    How I moved aside, making room
    for kids today.

    This is such a beautiful & heartfelt poem :D The past holds such a lot of significance in our lives! They remind us of what our circumstances used to be.. so that we can feel blessed and cherish all that we have at present :D

    Lots of love,

  7. Kids used to have lots of fun making their own entertainment, whether in the streets or the country, wading in the streams and climbing trees. Glad I was one of them. Beautifully penned Myrna.

  8. Enjoyed this poem... what a fun memory, playing in the forbidden blast of a hydrant!

  9. enjoyed the visuals of your summer delights Myrna..both as a child and as a grown up...beautiful lines :)

  10. How I love this.
    And mourn for the children here. The fixed sprinklers we played in, are now banned to conserve water. Another innocent joy gone...

  11. I very much enjoyed this glimpse into your childhood world — and your current one.

  12. It's hard ti imagine those days, you've done a great job describing them.

  13. What a wonderful journey...perhaps the enjoyment may partly come from bending the rules a little - which always feels good when you're young..i also love the idea of rule breaking rabbits.. ;)

  14. summer in a city can be really tough as the asphalt heats up so much and it gets hot like in a cooking pan - good when there's some water to get refreshed

  15. Wonderful memories, vivid words that bring this alive.

  16. Splendid pieces of memory coming together like a jigsaw puzzle.

  17. Myrna, you have captured the difference between those fire hydrant openings of your youth and those of today. I nodded my head when you said the streets are much meaner today....though the (legal) water is more gentle! So often I think we were the lucky ones! We didn't have the internet or fancy tennis shoes or color TV, but doggone....we did know how to play! (This poem is a keeper!)

  18. a lovely look back, thanks for sharing

    we are in the rainy season but right now its more sunny than rainy, the rains will catch up though

    much love...

  19. What fun to remember those summer memories ~ This brings me back to the long afternoons running around with my playmates ~

  20. How vividly you have penned this, Myrna! It was almost as watching an old film set in the Bronx. Loved reading this!