Sticks and stones
We'd wait for the caboose and yell,
         "Throw down some chalk!"
and the engineer would fling a pudge of white,
we'd make hopscotch grids at the dead end 
of Superior Street.
                          Or crosshatch lines,
hobo-cryptic, Old McHenry swore he could read.
Or spoked swastikas, rallying old soldiers,
clucking old tongues, 
                          though they'd last
on the wall until rain.
                          Or  SPY, impossible Spidey,
who musta hung from roofs, signifying awnings
negating shelter—
                          Or the Shadow, whose gaunt
specter strains in spindly reach.
                          Or panic pander
with a darker stick, gangs like rumbles 
of thunder names stroked out, struck down
by lightning
                          Nearer the ground
the better to see you, m'dear.
Like a step on a crack
red brick to rubble
next the windows
plate by fracture
then the wood
slat by sliver
until all shudders
asunder the weight.


Virginia Conn