our best sticks were made of rock elm

Our best sticks were made of
rock elm,
but since they cost as much as
$1.25 each,
we settled for
grey ash
or ordinary elm,
and wrapped them thick
in tar tape;
when the tar tape wore through
at the bottom and made
moth’s wings on the blades,
we taped them with adhesive tape
from our families’ medicine chests,
and the sticks
lasted
all winter.
• Peter Gzowski in The Game of Our Lives (1981)

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