I see the red house.
It is what they call a tract house surrounded
by other houses just like it.
It is on a street where we have block parties in the summer
and a contest for the best Christmas decorations in the winter.
We share party lines on the telephone
and everybody’s car sits parked in the driveway most nights by 9pm.
the siding like cells on a grid,
the shingled roof of tar and black speckles,
The concrete porch with the white railing
is where I play in my pink kitchen:
A sink, a stove, a refrigerator, all bright pink metal.
The smell of fresh cut grass is strong
and carried by the wind to the front yard
from my daddy mowing the lawn in the backyard.
Things happen like that, I think.
I am a child with simple dreams:
I want my big baby doll they use for Jesus
in the manger for our school nativity
to be real some day; I don’t even know
what the word abortion means.
I want my brother who comes pedaling
his shiny navy blue metal police car up the sidewalk
to be my pretend husband till I can have one of my own when I grow up.
He will have a car and mow lawn on the weekends
and we will sit at the ends of our children’s beds at night
And read them the Bobbsey Twins, or Charlotte’s Web, or Toby Tyler.
I can say and spell all the words even now.
The only word I haven’t learned to read is divorce.