We grew up in a quiet town surrounded by four lakes;
sometimes we'd go hiking and swimming at the fourth lake,
since it was a short walk from the railroad tracks,
halfway between my house
and my cousin Ralph’s
just before the town dump.
the urge to explore
strange new trails became strong,
Captain Kirk and
Mr. Spock were my heroes.
Ralph and I would
set our phazers on stun
and dare to encounter
alien life forms.
it was quiet
except for the odd branch
falling or when our shoes crunched
on a dry patch of leaves,
occasionally a snake would cross our path,
but Ralph would always arm us
with a cap gun
or a long stick with a sharp point
on one end to protect us.
The favorite part
would be lunch,
my chubby cousin
always made sure
that we had plenty to eat.
Being a skinny child,
I was more interested
in the possibility of
running into some
Romulans or Klingons
but when the food appeared
I would inhale it.
One favorite, when my Aunt ran out of bologna and cheese
was cherry koolaide accompanied by
wonder bread and white sugar sandwiches,
the grit of the white sugar
against our teeth put us into orbit
and I would lick the sugar
and let it dissolve
slowly on the tip of my tongue
after showing my
who had an annoying habit
of teasing me
for no reason.
Sometimes I would daydream
of him falling down
and breaking a leg
and then I would have to save him
and he would be eternally grateful
and never tease me again, of course
I would have to let him lie there helpless and in pain
for a very long time before I came back,
and risk running into aliens and bears just to teach him a lesson.
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