Simpler Times

In 1954 the times were simpler…
and a young boy’s toys were simpler.
Computer games were decades away;
ten-year-old boys played outside all day.

A nickel bought an afternoon’s pleasure
in the form of a balsa wood treasure,
an airplane glider - insert the wing in the slot
mid-body, stand up the tail, and you had a lot.

Toss it gently with the wind and then watch it glide,
again and again until with something hard it’d collide.
A fancier model that had a real spinning propeller
and rubber band motor cost big money to a young fellow…

The boy has saved for weeks to buy the fancier plane.
Now, holding it, his excitement is hard to contain.
Rubber band wound tight, it’s ready for its maiden flight.
Holding it aloft, he waits to launch when the wind is right.

Tossed with the wind it flies and flies until its motor dies,
but then comes a gust of wind and, as the boy’s eyes
grow wide, the small, fragile plane takes to the skies
doing loops and rolls in the breeze. “Go! Go!” he cries.

The plane sails and sails, with the boy running fast behind.
Its flight covers a city block before hitting branches of a pine.
It was simply the most stupendous sight the lad had ever seen.
Smiling, all bubbly inside, my how he had enjoyed the scene!

Just then his father arrives home, coming back from his work.
“Dad, you should have seen it fly!” as he gives his sleeve a jerk.
“Not now, son. Tell me later. I’m too tired after a hard day.”
The boy mutters, “Aw, who cares about a dumb old toy anyway?”

Harry Edward Gilleland      07.17.03