Rusted and weatherworn with faded colors on the backboard,
We looked thru many and found one we could afford.
My basketball hoop sits on the edge of the drive,
It’s been abandoned for years where it used to thrive.
I remember one summer, several years ago,
Sweaty and gross I must have been 13 or so.
Mom’s outside puttering in the garden,
I throw her the ball without asking her pardon.
Injuring her nose and prepping for the worse
She yells at me for being ignorant – her voice irritated and coarse.
Shooting baskets with Jem out in the drive,
Moving the cars to avoid any basketball dives,
I would do the granny shot and make the ball fly,
Jem called this cheating but I laughed and scored,
As the ball flew up and up and it soared...
Into the basket and dunked – and sunk!
I remember that girl Bethany who lived across the street,
She was uniquely different, but neat.
One day she brought me over and showed me her kittens,
The smallest ones name was none other than Mittens.
She played the cello and brought it to school,
Some kids didn’t think she was too cool.
On the bus with her and her instrument was cramped –
Like when me and Jem would go out behind our house and camp.
We’d have our tent and a flashlight handy, tucked in for the night we were just dandy,
Jem and I would go down to the creek,
We’d find different things, week by week.
We’d collect tadpoles and little frogs,
He’d help me over the big, thick logs.
I remember one time standing above, watching the water rushing below,
I watch Jem down by the path and watch the strong tow,
As the little insects got swept under with the forceful water,
Just hanging at the creek mum and dad’s proud son and daughter.
Next thing I know my bike goes caplunk,
Down under it had taken a dunk.
Fallen off the pavement and into the stream,
Big brother is collecting my bike, and I thinking how could I redeem?
But that wasn’t necessary for he saved the day more than once,
As for me though I should probably be termed dunce.
For knocking bikes into streams and other faulty missions,
Like when we went skiing and I left my keys in ignition.
Sometimes things don’t happen the way they do in your head,
And sometimes things don’t come out the way they should be said.
I remember our froggy going ribbet down the hall way,
And dad said we were going to pay,
Cause Kermit had gotten out of his container that night,
And I said “But hey it’s okay because he doesn’t bite”.
Our animal collection was different from most,
We had snakes and frogs and well I don’t mean to boast,
But we had easy maintenance pets with not much clean up involved,
So we spent time together, rarely wasting days in resolve.
We had a garden snake who became a regular family member,
I remember the day we found him in a bucket full of ice one December.
We had let him go back into the wild, months gone past,
But he returned for he missed us and the memories we had last.
We took him inside and thawed our friend out.
He was shivering and cold and needed to melt.
But we had let him go because his home was in the wild.
We only kept him because he was stolen from the river by one small child,
Who didn’t know that that was the snake’s home,
And so we thought he might enjoy the pile in the yard filled high with loam,
And so our snake was gone and we waved goodbye -
Thinking now I wonder where he is… *sigh*.
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Glow necklaces are fun to wear but should not be gnawed,
For the next thing we knew my mouth looked a bit odd.
One summer night when we shoulda been sleeping,
We were up with our necklaces laughing and peeping.
I began gnawing on my necklace only after he did too,
Soon therafter I was headed for the loo...
He starts to freak and knows we should seek,
Help from mom so we showed her my mouth,
Glowing with fluorescent colors of blue and green,
My mouth looked intense – you should have seen!
Mom freaked hardcore then dialed poison control,
They said flush with water and grab me a bowl,
They said I’d be fine but shouldn’t be chewing on glow sticks,
Got to be another way to get that fix! (ha ha)
I never understood why I’m always the one,
The one who it happens to when we’re all having fun.
He chewed his too but had no consequence,
But time and time again I’m the one who is handed the suspense.
Okay Jem, don’t act so innocent cause I know your history,
You see for me as your lil sis, it is certainly no mystery.
Mom tells me of the time when you were out in the lawn,
She turned for a moment and you were gone.
Chowing down on a bucket of lawn Lyme,
She catches your eye and wipes the whiteness from your face,
Starts to wonder how this stuff tastes.
I’m guessing poison control is contacted again and
Your play area is now restricted to the den.
So maybe I lied, maybe you do like suspense,
But hey it is okay, as long as you use common sense!
I expect you do now that we aren’t children anymore,
Like the time I stole bubblegum from the grocery store.
Mom wouldn’t let me have that Bubblicious flavor, but
She turned her back and I heisted a pack!
I was a smart little thief for I didn’t get caught,
Until out in the car and you ran your mouth in the lot.
I heard you say “Mom, Emily has gum!” when you could have just asked me for some.
We returned the gum to the store and I promised I wouldn’t do that anymore,
For stealing isn’t cool and it makes you feel like a fool.
Just buy your own gum, don’t be a bum.
Sarah was my neighbor but she’s up in heaven now.
She would be here today but God wanted her somehow.
Her little brother and she lived just next door,
I remember sitting on the hard, wooden floor,
Of her little tree house and chitchatting about school.
She gave me pointers on how to fit in and be cool,
I was the new girl in town and needed a pal,
And she was a very, special little gal.
This neighborhood has a history, every house, tree and human being,
Look outside I know what I’m seeing,
New neighbors move in but I still remember the previous,
When I was little I was so devious.
I’d watch and I’d look and memorize,
In dad’s office a hand drawn map lies.
Our neighborhood is sketched in childlike writing,
Mom and me would sit and watch and do some neighborhood sighting.
In today’s age this may be frowned upon,
Sitting outside and spying from the lawn,
But it was innocent in those days and the things people did would amaze.
© 2011 emilybee