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Four Young Boys At Play

Updated on October 22, 2013

Sunset is a sure promise kept

Motorists hum along on their way to everywhere

Traffic stops and starts only to start again

And in the lull I spy four children

Playing in the yard as most children do at this time

Four young boys with guns drawn

The small army prepared for war

And I wonder, "What is their game?"

Perhaps they are soldiers

Preparing for the battlefield of life

As they creep and crawl around Fort Family Car

Shooting at the enemy to watch him fall down dead


He falls and is miraculously resurrected

He lives to fight again!

And then it occurs to me--

No one really knows what is in the mind of a child

For a child's imagination is but a garden of possibility.

Whatever the game, I hope it is good.

I hope it is not a glimpse of the future

When colorful plastic morphs into hard, cold, steel


The loser falls to the ground

And never rises again.


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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Never liked seeing little boys playing war. Better they engage in sport or simple games of tag. Your poem brings it all to light.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Yes, as a parent some years ago, it was so difficult to persuade the boys to play other games. Toy guns and sticks were banned, but it was amazing how inventive they could be to carry on those war games in spite of their parents. They must have got it out of their system as now they're grown, they're really gentle. Love your poem.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think too much is being made of this really. Kids kicked out of school if they point a finger? Please. I had four brothers who played cowboys and Indians every day. They didn't grow up to be murderers or the 100s of thousands before them. I think movies and games and the despairing world they live in are the big culprits to make murderers and they would be better off playing cowboys and Indians, but that is just my outlook.

    • sherrituck profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherri Tuck 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you. As I wrote this poem, I thought of all the potential role-play games that could be played with a gun. What is even more sobering is that children often imitate life and play out real-life scenarios. This really makes me think about the impressions that we are leaving on young minds.

    • ocfireflies profile image


      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Such an interesting and potentially terrifying look at children playing with guns. It IS sad that we live in a world where we can imagine that what's in the imagination of kids playing with guns could someday not mean just play. You do such a great job painting this picture while providing commentary so fitting in the world we live in. A definite Vote Up!




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