He Wishes for a Girl

February 17, 2009 at 10:12 am (Kelowna Poems, Poems)

When we visit my Uncle Bert’s house, my cousin,
Big Gerry, who lives next door and has two sons
a few years younger than me, comes over to see us.
He sits beside me and grins, calls me Nikki Nikki
as he pulls my pigtails. “He teases you because he wishes
he had a little girl,” my Mom tells me. I smile quietly
and inch away on the orange footstool.

In the front yard as we’re getting ready to leave,
Big Gerry squirts me with my uncle’s garden hose. “I’m just
trying to cool you off, Nikki,” he says, his eyes squinting
in the sun, grinning still. “You’re not mad, are you?”
I can’t look up and try not to cry as I climb into the car
beside my brother, whose summer clothes are  dry.

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