Where The World Was Created
Author: Shiloh


First they were sanded smooth, then they were painted,
and when the paint dried, they were painted again.
Bright red and bright blue sides, alternating, with yellow for the seats.
Four boards two inches thick and twelve inches wide and six feet long,
nailed together to form a box that was set upon plywood sheets cut to fit.
Then four more boards, again two inches thick, but only six inches wide
and six feet long, cut to fit and nailed to the tops of the board walls
to make a place to sit and play, although I hardly ever sat there,
preferring to be in the middle of the sand.
Finally a top was made to fit over all of that
so when it rained nothing beneath the top got wet.
Hundreds of pounds of sand...
Special sand, from the Agway store,
ordered by phone, and then the drive to pick it up.
It took three trips in the old Packard.
I felt so special, so important, that all this was done for me.

Before the sand was poured in, I received The Instructions:
Sand was not to be spread around in the grass,
because that was wasteful, and it could kill the grass.
No eating or drinking in the sandbox.
The sand was to be smoothed at the end of play,
and the cover was to be replaced properly.
No walking or jumping on top of the cover, or it could break.
Toys were not to be left in the sandbox.
They were to be put away in a special box in the garage.
Shoes and socks were to be removed at the door,
and pockets and pants cuffs were to be turned out
to be sure no sand came into the house.
And when friends came over to play,
I was to share and be a good host,
and treat them as I would want to be treated.
Finally, and I was told to be sure to understand,
if it even looked like it might rain,
then I could not play in the sandbox that day.

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen,
and it was built for me, and I was thrilled with it.
Here was a world waiting for me...
waiting to be built and rebuilt, over and over.
It was placed over at the edge of the yard
beneath the spreading branches of an old oak tree,
which would provide shade in the daytime.
When the sand was poured into it,
it was my honor to spread it evenly to all corners
and along the sides, using a rake and a hoe.
Then, the only thing left to add was imagination.

Oh, the cities and highways and country roads
I built there, and the stories I made up.
I still have a couple of those old hard rubber cars
and I remember and miss the pickups and the
police car and the little wrecker truck.
On one side of the sandbox I used to play
with a steam shovel and a dump truck,
digging and dredging and doing all sorts of
grown-up jobs... I spent whole afternoons
driving over the roads and highways I made.
They went to cities and villages and farms all over the country,
and the adventures were always wonderful.
Sometimes I played Army with toy soldiers
and tanks and jeeps and my version of Normandy,
but most of the time I played Construction;
bulldozers and dump trucks and steam shovels,
and the pickup truck belonged to the road crew supervisor.
I built roads and docks and villages and cities and dreams.

Today that back yard is part of a parking garage for a hospital,
and the rest of the neighborhood became a wing for that hospital.
Progress, I guess...
They took the little roads and pretend buildings
I built in that sandbox
and made them into something big and real...

But I miss that old back yard,
and the sandbox, where I once created the world.


Comments on this poem/writing:

Dennis ( -- Sunday, October 7 2007, 10:09 pm

Ah, yes

I remember it well. Life moves on and the world becomes our sandbox. We are no longer omnipotent, but we can,and do mold our lives and change the landscape.
Luke Mudge ( -- Saturday, January 12 2008, 07:35 pm

Your Turn

A while back a poem of mine inspired you to write .

you've done the same for me.. ill call it My Father
Name:                                           Remember Me

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