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Double Dutch Jump Rope

Back in the day, we used to sing the following jump rope rhyme while playing Double Dutch:

All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence, fence.
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn’t come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July

I was feeling a bit nostalgic when I composed both “Under Street Lamp” and “Double Dutching.” Below is “Double Dutching”—another poem in honor of National Poetry Month (April 2015):


Double Dutch
            Jump rope
                       Sidewalk game;
                               Inner city youths’ claim to fame.
                     Turners set beat – 1, 2; 1, 2—
Singing rhymes in time
                             As Jumper enters ropes,
                                                         Dope on a dime turns:
                   Fancy foot stepping,
Chiming in,
        Uninterrupted versifying;
                                  Double dutching happy-go-lucky;
                                                  Picture-perfect work-study,
                       ‘Til Jumper exits out!

                                                                                                    ~ September 2014


By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12, MSG