During our family’s Paleozoic era,

we used watermelon rinds for pickles

and as compost for fishing-worm

colonies behind the box elder tree


Our chore was to dump the remains

in the backyard garbage can

where ghostly maggots squirmed

inside the lid


The burial done, we hurried from

the rank odor of spent coffee grounds

and sludge of leftovers to pass through

the fume of freshly mown bluegrass


Dinner dishes wiped dry, stacked in cabinets,

mom and dad laughing and reporting

the day’s news on the front porch swing,

we dashed shirtless and barefoot

in homemade shorts past the wooden

bowl of apples on the dining room table

to feel the soft breezes of early evening

across the smooth skin of our youth:


All big ears and teeth when we were perfect

examples of The Classical Period before

the spontaneous eruption of the Days of Rage