Number 17
April 23rd, 2009

The Alley

The alley was the boundary
And when I was four I broke free
To the other yards
On the other side
To a new world
That was big and wide

It was the alley, my first bloody knee fall
My first home run with Johnny's wiffle ball
It was our getaway
From the doorbell rung
Down to Mary's house
From her Dad we'd run

A place of pure joy come the big snow
No school today, boys, so says the radio
When you get a day for free
There was no better place to be
Than in the alley

In the alley I heard the echoes
Of the family fights and the radios
I heard the Rolling Stones
I heard Kennedy died
I heard the atom bomb and almighty god
Were on our side

Summer smelled of cut grass and clean laundry on the line
Gene would pitch his ten and we would all pile in at night time
The ghost stories flew
I believed every one
And so did you

Tommy got a dirt bike and he was always gone
Johnny moved away and the world moved on
And the black top came
They made it smooth as can be
But the alley never changes
In my memory