By Megan C O’Reilly

we had lived in the white house with
the shutters for years. i was still
a child but beginning to grow bored

with catching tadpoles in plastic cups.
i began to see our cherry trees as old
folks growing conversative and i stopped

using their trunks for ladders. grandpa
had died and grandma put on a light
flowered shirt with short sleeves and went

to florida. her armchair went with her so
i would sit in her walk-in closet. one day,
the neighbor boy who pushed me and cussed

put his coat over my tree stump chair
before i could sit down. alarmed, i came
home to tell my mother in the kitchen.

she already knew and smiled. instinctively,
i laughed. evolution. “i don’t know what
to do now,” i said.