Laughter Fades at Night
No – it’s a lie
I never covered you with a blanket,
or beat you up in my own backyard.
I never sent the red head home
with a bloody nose because you
teased my brother.
I was just a little girl.
Why did your mother have to call
and spoil it all, you were wrong,
so I punched you, it was a surprise
because little girls don’t punch boys.
I do recall being sick and staying home
from school – knowing my friend
would be passing by – it was lonely
being home alone.
I rapped on the window pane and
motioned for you to come inside – I
talked you into skipping school so
we could play paper dolls, but then
they were gone.
I searched as hard for those paper
dolls as I worked on twisting a hoola
hoop around my waist – she could
twist it longer – besides, in the winter
she never needed brown straps on her
I had rules – at least I heard those rules
day and night. It seemed as though I
was the only one in our neighborhood
who had to be inside when the street
lights turned on.
It was when you laughed
I found another friend.