Nothing New

Kids dressed for funerals they’ve never 
 been to rake leaves under orders 
 from their parents who just want them 
 doing anything productive. 

 A group of smokers argue about football
 while passing matches back and forth 
 and making motions with their slowly staining hands.
 A younger kid from further down the sidewalk
 sits on a skateboard, that he’s too small
 to ride, and watches cars go by so bored 
 he thought of running far away.

 He didn’t though because he knew 
 his parents would rein him in more 
 behind the old wooden doors 
 of their two story house 
 that they paid for with money they got 
 when his grandmother died.

 She poisoned herself with something 
 they couldn’t identify but it turned 
 her eyes bright yellow like a candle 
 burned inside her lifeless head. 

 The kid knew there was a stream 
 just a short walk through a couple 
 different yards, and there was likely 
 still some frogs that he could catch. 

 The arguing addicts noticed him 
 walking past as someone finally
 made their point, and flicked the joint 
that they were smoking 
 through the fence posts.

 The mother returned from inside 
 to find him gone, and dropped the purple 
 vase of flowers that she carried 
 so they all spilled out around her
 in a pattern that resembled 
 how it all seemed to be slowly turning out.

 She never found him,
 so he came back when he wanted to,
 but nothing new was waiting 
 there to meet him.

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