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The Empty Lot

By Sue Cowing

Come with us to our favorite spot.

Some people call it the empty lot

‘cause it doesn’t have buildings or hot concrete

like every place else along this street.


Bring your dog along--leave his leash behind.

He can bark and chase mongoose.  No one will mind.

He’ll love the grass. It’s three feet tall!

Looks like it’s never been mowed at all.


Let’s lie down flat in the grass and pretend

the whole town’s a meadow that doesn’t end.

Out here with the wind blowing through our hair

we can think anything.  We can be anywhere.


We can float on the ocean and gaze at the sky.

(that’s surf you hear, not cars going by),

or imagine we’re hang-gliding off a cliff.

It’s a perfect place to ask “What if. . .?”


What if the zoo animals all ran loose?

What if a kid could speak mongoose

or glide like a ray or play dolphin games?

What if things all had different names?

What if nobody ever lied?

What if nobody ever died?


There are things to think that can only be thought

in what some people call an empty lot.




from My Dog Has Flies: Poetry for Hawaii’s Kids,   

BeachHouse Publishing 2005

back to Poems for Children

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