Dear Graduating Seniors,

Congratulations! Your twelve years of grade school will soon culminate with gifts, celebrations and a sense of pride. Consider this a simple offering intended to recognize and reward your efforts over the years.

My poem The Boy is a reminder of how, no matter titles or wealth, important having time for childhood awe is. Please continue to explore the options life will reveal while always finding a few moments for play. It has been a joy working with and knowing you.

THE BOY

By Robert Houghtaling Sr.

A young boy on a rainy day
Sloshed in puddles down the street
Eating his favorite popsicle
And splashing with his feet.

The steady rain kept pouring
Creating a river ‘long the way
He finished the tasty delicacy
Leaving a stick behind to play.

Never before has such a boat
Adorned the oceans blue
The mighty little popsicle stick
Driven by imagination’s crew.

Down the raging river,
Stopped by twigs and stones,
Only to get a gentle nudge
From “Captain All Alone.”

Braving the rushing waters
The boy captain and his friend
Lived a high adventure
To the street’s very end.
I often think of that gentle boy
Walking in the rain.
Did he grow into a man
And carry age’s pain?

I wonder if he’d ever try
When the sky turns gray
To grab his tasty popsicle
And go outside to play.

Author Bob Houghtaling is the director of the East Greenwich Drug Program.