Wednesday, August 4, 2010

poem of the day 08.04.10

that’s where he got it from

they had the three of us sleeping
out on the screened-in porch

jeff, his sister penny, and i
all in a row

three sleeping bags

we were going fishing the next day
up at keystone lake

we had to be up early
because jeff’s old man said
the fish bit better before noon

but kids being kids we stayed awake
as long as we could
telling stories
and gossiping about school

finally jeff drifted off

hey, i said to penny
did you ever do this?

what? she asked

i took her hand and put it down
my pajamas, in between my legs
had her grab it

taught her how to stroke the thing

ew, she said, pulling her hand away
where’d you learn a thing like that?

late night tv, i said
the benny hill show

it was a lie, of course
i’d discovered the joy on my own
but based on penny’s reaction
i felt that i needed some kind of scapegoat

come on and do it, i said

no, penny said

but after a few minutes she put her hands on me
began stroking above the pajama bottoms

okay, now me, she said

you don’t have one, i said

but i put my hand down her pajama bottoms
got between her legs

oh, penny said

hey what’s going on? jeff asked, waking up

nothing, penny said

she pulled my hand away
and we went to sleep

the next day was fishing
which jeff and his dad enjoyed
but i hated

i’d never fished before
and the first one i caught had died
in my hands

so i stared out at the lake
watching the birds nosedive into the water
wondering why everyone liked nature

penny said, mom, i have to go

well, go in the bushes, her mom said

not that one, penny said, blushing

can’t it wait?


suddenly an idea struck me
you need to dig a hole, i said
dig a hole, go, and then cover it up
that’ll keep the bears away

that’s very good, john, their mother said
where’d you learn that?

probably from the benny hill show, penny said
that’s where he got it from

then she grabbed a small shovel
and some unused newspaper

her mom and i watched
penny go off into the woods to take a shit

i wonder what made her say that,
their mom asked

i shrugged

then i turned back toward the lake
to watch the birds nosedive again
not one ever seeming to get bored doing the same thing
over and over.


Unknown said...

Dug this alot, John... I'd love to see some of these as short stories...

John Grochalski said... actually working on a novel based on my childhood, and had written a prose section involving the same incident.