I held the record in the shot put, the tug-of-war,
the long jump. I made houses out of milk cartons,
origami fire trucks with bent straw hoses.
I’d squeeze the truck and shoot milk out of the straw
to quench the flames erupting from the houses.

I used to hope you’d sit with me. I watched you
choose somewhere else. I wonder if you’re
happy now. I wonder if your husband drives a race car or
hunts caribou or is an astronaut.

My friends and I were awkward and loud,
badly dressed, spastic. Tom ate his pencils in class.
Brendan head-butted the tether-ball poles
and said his daddy was in the mob.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about all that now.
We’re behind the Grange Hall where Tom is grilling ribs for the VFW.
I worry a length of string in my fingers, chew a stem of grass.
My stained hands are restless.

I can’t picture you now.
I forget, too, how I folded milk cartons into little bitty fire trucks,
into tiny burning homes.

Tom says the ribs are done but
I wonder.

.