When I Turned Five

My mommy and her new boyfriend

Bought me a bike,

A blue and red Mongoose

With shiny wheels.

And the man who was to become

My eternal tormentor

Wheeled it into the bowling alley

Where I was just blowing out the candles

On my Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake.

My mommy and daddy

Didn’t live together anymore,

But they gave me a book

Full of myths and legends

From all around the world.

My mommy’s boyfriend

Would hang upside-down

From the monkey bars

And make faces at me.

My mommy would teach me

About how to cook breakfast,

While I sat in the living room

Singing songs to the rain.

All I understood of my daddy

Was that he worked long hours

And that at the end of the day

He would always return to us.

I loved him with all my heart.

That was the year

The girl across the hall who was my age

Taught me how to French kiss

And I asked all the older boys

To be my boyfriend,

But they just laughed

And dumped sand in my hair.

That was the year

We found one of the kittens dead in a sock

Because he’d suffocated to death,

And my sister and I gave one of them

A bath in milk and ketchup

Because he was orange.




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