On the Street Where I Grew Up

By Jim Zola

Posted on

I’m in my old neighborhood
shortcutting though yards
never past the witches’ house
once it rain frogs
& packing popcorn we thought
was snow
snow of course was snow
snot on mittens
bombing the cars
on Grand Boulevard
hiding behind evergreens
thick with ice daggers
most of the houses
stayed dark inside except
for one room
old people lived there
couples or widows
and now I’m not sure
how much of what I remember
is made up
like the story of the bedridden man
cared for by his old wife
who served him his breakfast in bed
each morning until one morning
when he asked her what was
for breakfast
instead of pancakes
she took an axe from behind
her back
said how about this
and chopped him up

into little bits
maybe that was just
a story kids tell on the playground
when teasing
becomes boring
maybe the ambulance that parked
in front of the house
was there because the old man
had a stroke, heart
attack, seizure
or just gave up
living in one lit room
but I swear that night
when I looked out the window
the falling snow
was red

– Jim Zola