Storage Garage

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Puppy Love

At ten we all believed we loved someone,
that is, someone on a bike with baseball cards
flapping back and forth, or someone who
began tossing stones, climbing trees to steal fruit –
but it was only puppy love.  We heard this
all the time, especially when we were heading to
the alley to freeze in winter, a stone gripped in our
hand to carve on brick, only to cross it out – 
start again.

STORAGE GARAGE

We still talk about it,
but it is vague,
how we stood for hours

holding stones
to etch words on red brick,
it was a storage garage.

Neighbors said furniture
was kept inside: Never saw
another person near that
garage but us kids.

We etched as if we were
carving our life in the alley,
hours on a single name
or date, and the heart took
the longest.

We knew a heart around a
name would mean
we were really in love – but
mother and father called it
puppy love. 

True, I never loved a
ten year old –
so those words,
those hearts and names,
all lies.

Today –
our gang in the alley
could probably fill the wall
with words – words of boys
we thought they loved.
So many names –
so many boys –
it would be nice
to. . .
remember when?

 

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