I spent Saturday afternoons at the Paramount
for the matinee, back then: Gene Autrey, Roy Rogers,
"Hiyo Silver, away!" -
at eight and ten,
I had no comprehension of
racial stereotyping, that Tonto barely spoke
to his kimosabe. I swallowed it whole:
heroes and horses, "good guys" and "bad guys",
A pacifist all my adult life, I once played
"cowboys and Indians" with a holster and metal guns.
Of course, we all wanted to be cowboys;
no one wanted to be the one getting killed.
$1.25 bought the price of admission,
pop and popcorn.
And now it costs a family of four $100
to go to the movies.
Popcorn the price of a string of pearls,
more if you want extra butter.
The audience was noisy; popcorn flew through the air.
Boys' feet thumped against the back of one's seat.
We laughed and screamed
at the flashing images,
and some of us dreamed
of one day being on the silver screen,
famous for as-yet-undetermined talents.
Oh, yes, we dreamed.
for The Sunday Muse