Jennifer-Elizabeth Adams

Cheer Up Karly

Friday night brought
lawn gnomes and pink flamingos
dancing on your grandmother's front yard--
and earlier that day
those alley pharmaceuticals helped
you to feel better fast--
Before kindergarten watching the buses of
big kids going by while candy wrappers fly out of
our pockets to land in the dust on the side of the
road where business men are rushing to get to work--
Radios blast the 80's
and talk shows
gabbing about affairs,
gabbing about last night's scores
gabbing about somebody else
to take the attention off of themselves--
The kickball game stopped early when
I fell and skinned my knee while
you pulled away the jump rope
from a Hispanic girl
who didn't belong--
You pulled away the water pipe
and kept it for your own--
You pulled away from reality
the day we walked the train tracks and you
fell sobbing to the ground--
The trees will attack me! you cried
and I looked around, there were no trees,
no grass, no flowers,
just stones and ripped-up railroad spikes
from where the Mafia kept their secrets--
And I try to make you smile but you never do.
Cheer up Karly,
Can't you focus on the better parts?
Your hair is beautiful
and your shoes that cost $35
have lasted the past three years--
Remember purple rain clouds and My Little Ponys.
Plastic Winnie the Pooh backpacks
with erasers in the
front pocket shaped
just like two Scottie Dogs.
One black and one white--
Making tuna fish sandwiches
out of cat food and salad dressing
because we are
disgustingly creative
in this imperfect world--
Total conversations immersed
in Yes, No, Maybe so--
Karly, I keep hoping
you'll come back around---
Houses begin to look dimmer now from the van
blurry, shaded, even cardboard
as you fall down again.


The 2River View, 4.3 (Spring 2000)