Posted in childhood, family, life

Birthday

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I have a picture of my sister
On her 6th birthday
1976.
Bicentennial year. Long blonde hair
Smiling and sunny.
Standing behind her Cinderella birthday cake
3 days before Independence day.
Fairy tales over flags.
Of course.
She is wearing blue and red.
My mother wrote 6 years

In her perfect handwriting on the back.

When I was in 2nd grade
we celebrated the Bicentennial.
Before school was out.
There are pictures of me wearing a bonnet with bad short hair.
An apron and a floor length red white and blue skirt.
We made butter in our classroom and ate it on saltine crackers.
Paper flags and boats.
I am smiling.
An unfortunate haircutΒ and a patriotic skirt.

 

I went to an old elementary school.

It had a giant pecan tree on the playground.
If you threw a kickball at the branches
The pecans would fall in bunches.
Every other year.

 

We had show and tell on the carpet
sitting in a semi circle.
I brought in a Kennedy half dollar that had been made into a paperweight.
I’m not sure what I had to tell about that. Mostly show.
I think it belonged to my father.

 

This was the year I got a silver skateboard necklace from Santa.
Santa ordered it from Avon.
The deck was red white and blue.
Because
1976.

 

On the 4th we had fireworks.
And probably hamburgers
With American cheese.
The ice cream truck. Cap guns.
Waiting until the sun went down.
Then.
Bottle rockets and sparklers mostly.
On the sidewalk in front of our house.

 

Sparklers can’t hurt you. But don’t point them at your sister.
You can run with them though.
Fast.
In the front yard.
In the backyard.
Declaring independence.

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