We had been playing in the back
yard all afternoon when a man
in a panel van pulled up to our house.
We didn’t give him a glance
until mother called us into the living
room to sit on the floor and stare
at a screen in a wooden cabinet
on which fuzzy images floated past.
The man was on the roof hollering
to my brother to see if the picture
was better. No and no again.
He came down to fiddle
with the set and to say he’d fix it
before the show began. We fidgeted
and squirmed, the man went back
on the roof and at last all was clear:
“It’s Howdy Doody Time”
Buffalo Bob and Clarabell
the Peanut Gallery
then the red-headed star himself
in an awkward song and dance.
It was ok
but we wanted to go back out
to play