To the Woods
If I had a little sister I’d take her with me into the woods. She would sit
in the back seat dangling her legs, triggering her purple light-up sneakers,
nibbling on salt and vinegar chips, and whistling out the window while
the world flew by. She would yell out all the car colors and read every
sign we sped by on the highway, beaming with pride as she announced
that Wendy’s had a special on chicken sandwiches, or that gas was
down to $3.19. She would be named Sophie, or some another name
that would make you want to pinch her nose. The dogs would start barking
behind her as green leaves emerged in the windows, and she would yell
back at them like a little drill sergeant. As we rolled up to the trail entrance,
she would snap off her seatbelt and fly out of the minivan, tripping on the step,
her soft palms catching her fall on the cool gray of the parking lot. Wiping her
wet cheeks, she would spring back up and clap her reddened fingers together,
letting the embedded black pebbles litter the ground. And if I had a sister, she
would take off too fast down the path, skipping and collecting perfectly crisp
fall leaves as she went, her ringlets of brown hair flowing in the breeze behind her.
I have a tank of gas in my car that can take me to the woods, past
the McMansions and smelly landscape trucks of this neighborhood and
into the trees. If I had a sister I’d take her with me.
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