The year we learned to roller skate, World War II ended.
We thought one had nothing to do with the other.
I went slowly round the ring clinging to whatever I could cling.
You speed full speed. You fell, got up and fell again.
One had nothing to do with the other, we thought,
until, at day’s end, we stood steadily as friends.
You sped full speed, fell, got up and fell again.
Differences weren’t as important then as roller-skating,
and, at day’s end we stood as friends,
but decades have their lessons, and wars repeat.
Differences weren’t as important then.
Memory, reflection, fault/assault/silence, a vanishing.
When was it we grew too old?
World War II ended the year we leaned to roller-skate.
Joan (J. R.) Brady, Sonoma resident since 2011, is a semi-retired social worker with an MSW from UC/Berkeley. She is also a published and produced poet and playwright.