We called them gumballs--pulled them from the tree
by careful handfuls, every time we could.
They looked like medieval weaponry,
a morning star, its handle living wood.
All spherical, spiked thorns along thin seams
with one bare stem on top to grip them by,
we'd pouch them in our shirttails, choose up teams,
take cover, declare war, and let them fly.
With no objective except to attack,
and daring, pointless forays from each side,
advancing until we were beaten back,
our ammo ran out, or somebody cried,
We sweated out the dusky autumn hours,
till called inside for cookies, milk, and showers.