There was always just dust under the bed

If there was a rock under the wax paper, the leaf rubbing would always be inexact. The babysitter asked me where my toothpaste was supposed to go after I used it, and when I told her I just eat the rest, she let me sit there and lick dollops of it off my finger until bedtime. Justin ran down the hill to pick up the bouncy balls I had released (Gotta catch ‘em all) and crushed my favorite one. Squirtle exposed in its center. What child does not believe she can actually dig to China through the hole in the sand at the beach. The dinosaurs lost. Spoonful of Cheerios begins the urge to fill the holes.

My mother used to say I would clean the floor for her, the rate I was going. Trundle bunk. I would grit my teeth when the caterpillar took a nibble. I wanted miles of cornfields to hide in. Randi taught me Spanish, writing vocabulary words on a yellow piece of lined paper. I remember where we sat, next to the fireplace, but none of the words.

My mother used to cut the leaves off the strawberries and I would put my finger in the hole she left behind, one fruit on each digit. Laced with organic. Snails muttering along carefully placed leaf circles. Mimicry is too perfect.

My father saved me from biking into the mailbox when a squirrel distracted me; I used to be oddly skilled at making the strange screeches it utters. I was certain they made them with their tails because the fur twitched in harmony.

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