Peter Pan Got it Right

322px-PeterPan_Statue_LondresEvery once in a while I get an urge to write a poem.  This is one of of those times. And this poem, I dedicate to anyone who grew up in the Baby Boomer generation. I guess you know who you are.

Peter Pan got it right,

Clap your hands and believe, he said,

Ditto Gloria Steinem and MLK,

Who swore we’d one day have a right

To be respected

And treated equally,

As for JFK, he had his eye on space,

While Walt was spinning dreams of a

Great big beautiful tomorrow–

Oh, the possibilities!

These were our pioneers, our leaders,

Our trendsetters,

Putting visions in our heads,

Of Camelot, pixie dust, and happy endings.

The impossible’s possible!

They gave us wings of hope and optimism,

Filled with American know-how, marching bands

And patriotic pride,

Blazing trails onward marching,

Westward ho, they cried and we believed.

Peter Pan got it right,

Making believers out of us,

Gladly, boldly taking in

How we could be anything and do it, too,

Like never grow up and never grow old,

This was our Neverland,

Home of the lost boys and girls,

Where the outdoors shined on our faces,

As we ran like the wind,

Skipping, prancing, whipping past fences,

And gardens of marigolds and dogwood,

Across streets, up hills–through playgrounds,

Swinging on a star and carrying

Moonbeams home in a jar,

Daring ourselves to go,

Soaring into space,

The final frontier,

Then back past the Howard Johnson’s,

Wildly devouring our butter pecan ice cream,

Feeling it drip down our sticky chin and hands.

We were explorers, we were mavericks,

We were children with stars in our eyes,

Catapulting down winding roads,

Until we could no more.

And Lady Liberty lifting us on broad shoulders,

Carrying us homeward bound,

Dropping us in a heap,

Out of breath but not out of moxie,

Ready to play astronauts in outer space,

Our legs stretched upward,

Heading for the moon and beyond,

Second star to the right,

Eagerly clapping our hands for Tinkerbell,

We believe, we said, we believe!

Pioneers were we,

Forging our own paths and destiny,

To a bright made-in-America future,

That was promised–guaranteed or your money back,

On sale now for a limited time only,

Ours for the taking,

Pinky swearing we’d stay young forever,

Then reneging on that warranty.

Yep, Peter Pan got it right.

22 thoughts on “Peter Pan Got it Right

  1. I love your poem. It reminded me how hopeful we all were and how the future held so much promise. Sadly, it made me wonder what today youths are feeling as we keep contracting and restricting.

    • Good question. I don’t know what the youth are feeling, but the funny thing about the future is, no matter what, it always holds promise. We’d be defeated, without the will to go on, if we didn’t believe that. And that’s food for thought!

  2. Now I am not into poetry Monica but I found yours took me back to when I was younger.

    We did things then that youngsters just don’t do now, that is our gin and their loss I think.

    A beautiful post.

    • Not into poetry! The horrors! Oh well. Maybe I’ll convince you otherwise, one of these days. Poetry can be so evocative, emotional, lyrical. You can take liberties with poetry. It can be so flexible, from the soul, you can write things in ways that you can’t say in prose. Poetry has seen me through a lot of sadness, contemplation, reflection and has helped me bounce back, love life, appreciate the small things and stare at the clouds. Not into poetry? That’s like saying you are not into breathing. Poetry is life!

  3. Awesome job, Monica — you made it all come alive once more, and I thank you for it! Those were carefree times, weren’t they (despite having to hunker beneath our school desks and wonder if the bombs were going to take us all out). I think everyone can relate to Peter Pan’s desire to never grow up!

    • Debbie, I remember watching Mary Martin as Peter Pan, year after year. I loved the part where she asked us to clap to save Tinkerbell. It was ingrained in me, as was Walt Disney, every Sunday night introducing the World of Disney program. That’s where my optimism comes from. Memories such as these.

    • Sherri, my brother and I used to play astronaut all the time. We’d lay on our backs on the sofa love seat, with our legs hanging over the back of the sofa. Facing upward, we’d pretend we were launching into space. Those memories helped inspire this poem.

      To the moon and back!

  4. Monica, I love your optimism. This really takes me there to a period when we lived and witnessed so much together on one of three channels. We were so blessed to grow up in such a period of optimism.. We saw Camelot, then Nov 22 on one of three channels. We listened on one of three channels “I have a dream…” and knew we were witnessing history together and prayed for the man who pronounced those words. We watched Alan Shepard launched into space, John Glenn make an orbit and then Neil Armstrong take “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” on one of three channels. We sat as a family to watch Perry Mason and Walt Disney “wish upon a star” on one of three channels. And all of America watched Mary Martin live, at the same moment in time, fly across her stage along with her friend Tinkerbell, and we all clapped together “believing” together because with only three channels, any household with children was there. We were there together.

    • Georgette, true. We did all that and more. We were eyewitnesses to history. But now that you mention it, re the three channels, three channels is all we needed. Life was simpler because there were only three to choose from. And if you didn’t find something you wanted to watch, you just turned off the TV and picked up a book or went outside to play. Back then we had our imaginations to entertain us.

  5. I LOVE this, Monica! I am one of those Boomers, barely, but still, this is my generation, as well. And I’m AFRAID my body is reneging on its warranty, also. I want my MONEY BACK! Think you can help me with that?

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy, once I figure out how to help myself, I’ll be sure to help you. But, as long as you’re barely a Boomer, you might consider calling yourself a Generation X’er instead. How’s that for help?

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