A Pocketful of Time

Their childhood pockets were always full of stuff: fluff-covered sweets, stubs of pencils, rubber bands, and tiny plastic figures from breakfast cereal, their currency to trade and play with on a rainy afternoon.  

That afternoon, when it is over, said and done, it was a time – and there was never enough of it – when they wanted more: Robbie was starting a new term at a local school, but Arthur was being shipped off to boarding school.

They spent their last hour together at the arcade. The final penny was for bubble gum. Robbie’s penny dropped into the old-fashioned machine, but only an empty plastic egg rattled out. Arthur let his penny drop and was rewarded with gum, which he split in half to share with his friend. Robbie opened the egg and placed his piece inside. “For when you’re feeling lonely,” he said.

Kim M. Russell, 17th August 2020

30 Old Fashioned Bubble Gum Machine Photos and Premium High Res ...   

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: A Time

This Monday, Merril is tending the bar from New Jersey with a Prosery prompt, starting with a line from a poem, which is incorporated into a short prose piece, flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction, and not be longer than 144 words, not including the title. We must use the given line, and may change punctuation and capitalize words, but we are not allowed to insert words between parts of the line.

Merril says that, while wandering through the Poetry Foundation Website, she came across the poem, ‘A Time’ by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, whose work often explores her Native American heritage, and selected this line:

“when it is over said and done
it was a time
                  and there was never enough of it.”

50 thoughts on “A Pocketful of Time

    1. Thanks Bjorn. I was lucky, I stayed at home and walked to school with all the other kids. My cousins weren’t so lucky, they were army children and boarded in England while their parents were abroad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Children are mostly kind to each other. While I was staying with Ellen, we took Lucas to meet a Polish friend and her daughter. We went blackberry picking and the two toddlers had a brilliant time. They held hands on the way back out of the park. I hope they stay that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Children find friendship so natural. At what point did we decide that maintaining friendship requires work and attention. Children could teach us a thing or two.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is such a stunningly evocative prose piece, Kim! 💝 I adore the closing image. It speaks volumes of friendship that promises to last despite the circumstances 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. We had a thing about bubble gum machines when we were kids, as we didn’t often see them, they were an American thing that we dreamed about, and we weren’t allowed bubble gum. But I remember seeing one at a seaside arcade.

      Like

  2. A wonderful way to implement the prompt line. We moved a lot,10 times in elementary school, 3 junior highs and 3 senior highs, so I never had any “best friends” until college.

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    1. Thank you, Glenn. So many children move from school to school. I was lucky in that respect, until I was about twelve, so I had some established friendships.

      Like

  3. Very sweet, Kim. I wonder where their lives will take them. I guess there’s a class thing here, as well, which adds poignancy. And Arthur will obviously do much better in his A levels, and Robbie will be screwed over and miss his place at Oxford, and end up working in that amusement arcade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some of us a familiar picture. I remember reading ‘school’ books when I was a child and wishing that I could be a pupil at Malory Towers or some school in Switzerland where they skied. Later I realised they were just places for rich people to deposit their (mostly unwanted) kids.

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