I was a rambler as a child in the summer,
outside dawn to dusk with a sandwich and a book,
maybe a friend or two, a thistledown seed on the wind.
If nothing sweet was in the house, no candy or cookies around,
I would take from the cupboard a packet or two of winter’s
leftover cocoa mix on my meandering travels.
When the need for sweets would hit, I’d tear off a corner,
lick a finger, and coat it in sweet brown crystals
until the packet was empty, bonus points if it had mini marshmallows.
If even old cocoa wasn’t available, a friend and I would raid our homes
and pool loose change to buy nickel candy at the local IGA,
an ice cream or two if we were particularly lucky.
Looking at my grandson’s cocoa in the kitchen pantry, I realize
what an idyllic childhood my parents gave me, what trust they bestowed,
merely by allowing me the freedom to be alone.