It’s 1975 and the sidewalk
is cracked along the way
to the dark house with
the sweet old lady and her candy dish.
My backyard has a rusty chainlink fence
and some overgrown shrubs
that make me feel it’s possible
to suffocate in suburbia.
My mother’s belly is growing
and my father’s about to tell me why.
I’m not ready to hear about
the turmoil of ovaries or vas deferens –
I am four years old.
I wasn’t ready to see “Jaws” either
so now every night I check
beneath my Hollie Hobbie blankets
I’m often alone except for lights
that roll beneath my feet
as I walk in childhood and wonder.
Sometimes I still detect
a glimmer along my path
as though forty years is nothing,
as though I have another forty
to count cracks on the sidewalk.