Twenty Plus this One

The neighboorhood I lived in

had perfectly cut grass and clumps of flowers,

A rapist lived next door.

A rapist lived around the corner.

My mother required I be nice to both.


We would all play kick the can.

I would hide under the turned over canoe or

in the nook where the aluminum siding and chimney brick met.

If adventurous I would jump the northern picket fence,

crawl through the dirt of the thicket to reach the field

where my brother was molested at the age of eight.

Hunched like a big cat I made my way through the tall grass and baby’s breath,

skulking to the southern side.

I would posture myself behind the Buick of the insurance salesman who lived across the street.


It was easily to hide behind the tire for I was always the most petite of the 20 plus members of the neighborhood crew.

I would wait and wait and wait and wait.

Watch the ants in the driveway cracks as all my teammates were captured.

Wait and wait and wait and wait until the protector of the can was confused, then tired, then fed up.

Then sprint across the road, kick the can, and free them all.


My now dead dad would say

Everything has to get worse before it gets better.

I think this is what he still means.


Photo by Simon Infanger on Unsplash

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