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The Elastic Band Kids


The Elastic Band Kids

By Kalen Marquis


Dedicated with love, respect

and compassion to  

“Elastic Band Kids”

and “Old Elastics”



There once were some kids

Called the Elastic Band Kids

They were stretched like elastic

Except when they hid.


From what did they hide?

Or rather from whom?

From teachers and parents—

Old Elastic me and Old Elastic you!


Those kids were pretty stretchy

It was their way to survive.

They moved to Old Elastic music,

Whether rock, blues or jive!


Those Elastic Band Kids were everywhere,

Wherever we asked them to be.

They learned the Old Elastic dances

With a “cha-cha-cha” . . .

and a “one-two-three’!


Those Kids were long and stretchy

They could be tied in a knot.

But they were also short and snappy.

They could change on the spot!


Some Kids were very soft and pliant.

How they’d twist and they’d bend,

But they never knew themselves—

Their very best friend!


Those Kids couldn’t trust

And they sure couldn’t feel.

They needed to be themselves.

They needed to be real.


They needed to cry when they cried

And laughed when they laughed.

They needed to know it was okay

Even when they gaffed.


It was the Old Elastics’ job to teach

To help them experience it all.

It was their duty to prepare them,

To help them weather it all.


But who forecasts the weather?

That’s what all Kids want to know.

Should they be dressing for sunshine

Or wind, hail, sleet, or snow?


It was an Old Elastic Custom

An Old Elastic Truth,

Elastic Band Kids must be shaped

Until that first wisdom tooth.


Those Kids were not brittle.

They were as rubbery as can be.

They were made for that tugging

It was so easy to see!


For that is the beauty

Of young Elastic Bands.

They were ‘meant’ to be molded

By Old Elastic hands.


But Old Elastics gradually weaken

They become brittle and worn.

They had been twisting, tugging, pulling. . .

Since those Kids had been born.


All that tugging made them tired,

As bushed as can be,

But it made Elastic Band Kids taut

And that would set them free!


So, when it finally happened,

That the Old Elastics grew weak,

Those Elastic Band Kids went sailing

Over the highest mountain peak!


It was really quite a sight

When the Old Elastics lost their grip.

Their Kids had been launched

And they took quite a trip!


That was it! They were gone!

They were out of that place!

They had catapulted themselves

Into deep outer space!


They hadn’t fully realized it

But the tension had set them free!

The tugging and tugging had stopped

And they were smiling with glee!


The Old Elastics moaned and groaned.

Oh, how they spluttered and cried!

“How could you leave us?” they wailed.

“We. . . love. . . you,” they sighed.


The Old Elastics were sad.

They had done what they could.

They had done like their parents,

As Old Elastics ‘should.’


If they could just get them back,

They would try once again.

If they would just come back

They’d appreciate them then.


They wouldn’t tug quite so hard

Or push, pull or bend.

“We love you as you are,”

Is the message they’d send.


The Old Elastics were very lonely.

They’d lost the great race.

So, they mailed off a letter. . .

Into deep outer space.


They awaited a reply,

But they heard little news.

They would wait and wait.

They had nothing left to lose.


But meanwhile those Kids

They were traveling in space.

They had visited many planets

But hadn’t found their place.


Pluto was too cold

And Mercury was too hot.

Jupiter looked kind of bruised

With its giant red spot.


They had traveled many orbits

Hopped on many a track

But each one they traveled

Kept looping on back.


They had looped many orbits

They had gone round and round.

But there was no place to settle

They were even homesick they found.


So, they re-read that faded letter

Filled with Old Elastic love,

And they sent their reply

By interplanetary dove!


It had taken them some time.

They were tired and sore.

But was it really their heart

Or their pride that hurt more?


They had given it some thought

And most of them agreed,

It was by returning back home

That they might finally be freed.


So, the Elastic Band Kids came back.

They shuttled in from space.

They forgave the Old Elastics

Though they hadn’t liked their ways.


The cheers went up!

Oh, they made quite a sound!

The Elastic Band Kids were back!

There were tears all around!


The Kids were all grown up.

They were Old Elastics now.

They were parents and teachers

And their turn to show how.


It was their turn up at bat

To do the best that they could.

They might make mistakes,

They were sure that they would.


They would do the Old Elastics’ job

They’d twist and tug here and there,

But never too often . . .

And always with care.


For they knew well the fear

Of pulling too tight,

And the desperate desire

To hurtle into the night!


They vowed to remember,

All their travels in space,

And to trust their Elastic Band Kids

To find their own unique place.


They would love them and listen

And stretch them for fun.

They would help them find their orbit,

Their own place in the sun.


They would often take the lead,

For that’s the Old Elastic role,

But they’d bend and stretch gently.

That would be their goal.


They would lead by example,

Not just preach, teach and test.

They would try to catch those Kids

At their personal best!


Yes, that would be the trick!

Though not so easily done.

But for every Old Elastic

It is job number one!


And that is the Elastic Band Kids’ story,

How they had soared into space.

But now they’re all busy . . .

Carrying on that Old Elastic race!


© 1991 Kalen Marquis