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Never Any Kids

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My parents told me we were moving
out of a neighborhood,
to a prettier, peaceful place
to a road filled with farms
to a house with a hilly yard
to a place where jumping into leaf piles

was actually possible
my mother's dream home

a home where the ice cream man never stopped
where our yard was too uneven for a pool
where the leaf piles were mountains
and there were no kids to jump in them with

it was prettier, peaceful
but it was not fun

the trees did not play soccer in the streets
the creek in the yard did not race me on a scooter
the elderly farmers did not knock on the door
asking if I could join a game of tag

in the spring, I heard birds
in the summer, running water
in the fall, wind and turkeys
in the winter, silence
but never any kids

a year later, a little boy moved in
across the street
on his great-grandfather's farm
finally, another kid

someone to play soccer with in the street
someone to race me on a scooter
someone to be my friend

one day we played baseball in his field
the next day too
then the next

every day I heard my name
Justin, the boy screamed across the road
that was all I heard
all day, everyday
my name

his voice drowned out the birds’ chirps,
the running water,
the wind
it pierced through the calm, snowy silence
ruining the pretty, peaceful home
my mother’s dream home

I no longer wanted to play soccer in the streets
I wanted to enjoy the pretty, peaceful home
To hear the sounds
I once did not appreciate
The sounds of nature





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