on a recent new yorker cover a room’s
prominent wide window reveals back
yard greenery swings a ball trees clear sky
inside two young girls sit back to back but
yards apart each intent on a screen each
playing her own game books toys art stuff
in the room each screen shows a child on
grass with clear skies though not the same
game the cover’s title is “play date” these
are the kids I now know really not know
for we adults are furniture sometimes
convenient even their own peers often
ignored this picture shows it but then I think
what if my childhood had contained such
mesmerizing toys we had jacks jump ropes
marbles gangs of kids playing kick the can
but had we keys to press electronic games
would I not have succumbed totally addicted
not read secret garden not filled notebooks
with ideas drawings even now I am caught
by the sticky claws of devouring media have
to resist but our kids don’t know they’re the
prey of our culture that they need to learn
balance that there’s lasting value in a board
game in capture the flag even in standing
alone on a windy hill with nothing but one’s
own thoughts to entertain puzzle challenge

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