A dual prompt, I put two prompts together to determine the direction I wanted to take: child’s play from Robert Brewer and crush from Khara House. I decided on a sestina because I will not let the sestina win and without practice, I will never get it right. LOL Here is my effort:
Grape or Orange Crush
The long summers, we all would play
Our lips and tongues stained with grape
or orange soda, our straws bent
into the wet bottles of Crush.
Sometimes the arbitrary cruelty
returns like the taste of childhood
Isn’t that just the way all child
-ren are? Casually playful
interspersed with bouts of cruelty?
Good and bad, like orange and grape
flavors of kids, flavors of Crush,
sometimes fun, often bitter bent.
Races run, who’s fastest? Loser bent
in half, puffing; excited child
-ren lift the winner. In the crush
the loser bolts for solo play,
(does defeat taste of orange or grape?)
waits for more impending cruelty.
I wonder about this cruelty;
are the kids all spitefully bent
hoodlums with tongues of orange or grape,
or are they just curious children
testing social mores while they play,
unaware of the spirits they crush?
The lone child, away from the crush
does not understand this base cruelty.
He honestly craves friends to play
with, does not get that play is bent
on savagery to see which child
-ren are orange, and which are grape.
At lunch, peanut butter and grape
jelly sandwich, someone’s friend crush
-es the lonely kid’s lunch. The child
doesn’t know he’s being very cruel;
he’s making the others laugh, bent
on comedy and childish play.
One is playful and daubed with grape
jelly, humor bent; the other, crushed
by the random cruelty of a child.
The taste of grape, the taste of cruelty,
a bottle of Crush, flex-straw bent,
pain mixed with childhood summer play.