Jan 30, 2013


It was 2nd grade recess.
Jimmy and I sat hiding
in the furthest tree from the school
that was still in the playground.
I had just finished telling him
about how my ma was the best
cook in the world, my legs pretzel-
tied around one of the branches;
then asked him what his was like.

He thought for a moment,
looking stony-faced at my beat-up
Sketchers, then told me ‘bout last April when
he found her passed out on the couch.
She was lying on her back, a bottle of booze dripping
from her left hand; an empty pill bottle bouquet
held to her chest like a beauty pageant winner.
He said he was so mad at her
for forgetting to pick him from school
that he punched her in the stomach.
Her eyelids suddenly sprung open,
she rolled off the couch, and
puked face down in her own hair.

She told him the next day
that her life had flashed before her eyes:
not like how you’d see it on a TV show,
but like a flash from a disposable camera
that she knew
wouldn’t be worth developing.

His Uncle told Jimmy that the apple
doesn’t fall far from the tree.
He never understood what this meant,
but remembered the awful
way his Uncle’s brow creased when
he looked at Jimmy
and said apple.
Since then, he decided
to never eat apples again,
and to climb trees as high
as he possibly could.

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