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  • Kelly J Massey

Summer Games

Do you remember parking our bikes on the lawn?

It’s how we knew where to find each other

when we were late to play.

How about playing Kick the Can in the dark?

It was fast and furious, everyone running,

squealing when the Can was kicked—the rocks clanking inside

as we sprinted from the jail cell, hoping whoever was “it”

couldn’t catch us.

How about role playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

You as Raphael because of his red bandana,

me as Leonardo because of his blue,

and Donnie would never play Donatello

because Michelangelo loved pizza.

Do you remember asking for a summer video game?

Your mom didn’t sign you up for summer camp

and you didn’t want to stay home.

We booted up Secret of Mana,

I played the hero, and you, the mischievous sprite.

So fitting, and yet you saved me from myself so much

during our fleeting childhood.

You were and still are one of the few who see me

for me.

One of the few who grounds me, who talks me out of

my own head.

When you told me, we’d be old ladies in rocking chairs

throwing rotten potatoes at kids who ventured in the yard,

I took it as a promise.

Best Friends Forever has nothing on us.

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