We lived on a tree lined street. Everybody knew
everybody. After dinner we sat on the verandah.
I sat on the steps. There were a ton of kids.
Neighbors waved from their porches.
Kids waited for someone to start something.
Someone always did.
We’d play til the lights came on, then usually
went to bed, unless the hockey game was on.
Dad always insisted it was a family thing.
On school days I’d hear him crab about the
Catholic kids. He claimed they ruined his lawn.
They passed by our house on the way to their
I could never figure that out.
Joanne was Catholic. The girl next door.
I considered her a friend. She didn’t play and laugh
like we did and her foster mother never sat on
their porch. You washed your glass right
away after taking a drink and their lawn was fine.
Another lady came to live there.
They said it was her Mom. She didn’t tell me that.
I guess I was to busy to notice then.
They said she went to live with her Mom.
I couldn’t figure that out either.
I thought she was home. I still remember what
she looked like. She had beautiful long brown
hair and her face smiled, most of the time.
Then she was gone.
I’ll never forget Joanne.
©J.E.Goldie June 15 2019