Nebula3

by Irene Mason

I busted my knee open–
you were the only one with a Band Aid for me.
I ate ketchup sandwiches–
you brought me brownies.
I was locked out while Mom and Dad showered–
you kept me company in the sun.
I munched on stale Saltines–
you asked if I could eat at your house.
I still dream of your mom’s crunchy tacos
and the sweet voice she used with me.
I screamed, but my body froze
as ants crawled up my legs–
you had the sense to grab a water hose
and spray them off.
You saw my sweater had holes–
you gave me your sister’s old one.

Only you paid me any attention.
I think I was a ghost to most of the world.
I wished that you were my brother.
I prayed that God would put me in your family.
We walked on red, brick walls,
keeping our arms out for balance.
We chased cats around the block
and performed surgery on moths.
We even did some dumpster diving,
but only skimmed the top layer.

The ketchup sandwiches turned into mayo ones,
but you always had a treat for me.
I wanted to go to the park with your family–
Mom said, “Be back before dark.”
We caught tadpoles.
I gave mine to you.
You looked after them with such care,
just like you did with me.

When you were at your Grandma’s
in Arizona for a week,
I was bored to death.
I rose from the grave as Casper.
I cried knowing that I had to be
without you for seven days.
I tried talking to my stuffed animals,
but they all gave me blank stares.
My dirty, drunk neighbor
smacked my butt as he walked by,
and I had no one to help me plot
revenge against him.

When you came back,
I hugged you tight,
because when I busted my knee open,
You were the only one with a Band Aid for me.

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