Silently on naked feet,
Felix and Wawa padded to the river.
Pushing through the tangled trees
to the overhanging pier,
they sought waters cool relief
from the noisy humid night.
Knowing it was dangerous there;
strange ones lurking in the brush,
quickly sloughing off their clothes
they ran, diving off the pier
into the black glistening river,
loud shouts turned to gurgling pops.
Swimming to the sodden shore,
clambering up from the river,
refreshed they laughed and giggled.
Running back on to the pier,
anxious for another dip,
they found two strangers waiting.
They chased Felix and Wawa down the pier.
Felix felt a rope burn his neck,
his hands barely tore it off.
They ran faster towards the street,
the strangers dared not follow,
they were safe beneath the El.
The El train roaring over,
they ran stark raving naked
up Fairmont Avenue towards Wawa's place.
Knowing Wawa’s Dad would be soused,
wouldn't know they had no clothes;
they ran through the open door.
Wawa's Dad sat slouching watching a
blank flickering TV screen,
staring blindly at the tube
he didn't notice anything,
just went on watching nothing,
while they lay naked on the floor.
Waiting till the streets were clear,
before the light of morning,
sneaking up the silent street,
out across the tangled wood,
on across the jutting pier,
they went back to get their clothes.
Mom asked about Felix’s rope burns,
asked where he had spent the night,
he told her what had happened,
she smacked him hard in the face,
told him to be more careful,
and walked out to go to work.