I am from a picket fence faded beneath pale sun with jagged pieces of wood cracked off leaving behind splinters in soft pink skin. A backyard with so many errors in the fence work–gaps just large enough for a secret skinny spy with pigtails to fit through. A Pine Sol Momma, her knees against an orange and brown linoleum floor that never seems dry enough for little muddy feet to run across.
A back screen door that swings open, slams shut, leaving behind another of Dad’s undershirts to hang, bleached, on the line. Shiny pots and pans smelling faintly of Brillo and lemony Joy. The clank and clang as she hoists them on top of the stove. The swing that creaks madly as I pump my legs out and in and soar above the rusted cyclone fence overcome with white and yellow honeysuckle. Above a small garden of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, basil, marigold, and a fairy or two.
My shadow dancing across the barefoot trampled lawn, a loosened hissing hose and a puddle of dirt–a stew the color of midnight alight with mineral stars. The taste of old coins and damp rock.
The 6 o’clock call to Tuesday’s supper of grey roast beef, canned French green beans and mashed potatoes with butter.