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The sun
slowly works its way up
the side of her bedroom wall
she watches as it reaches
the notch on the wall marking
her height at age five
she’s done this before
just lay back
as the sun envelops her room
in less than an hour
five years and five notches
will be swept over by
the day’s early morning light
once it hits ten years
the marks get further apart
and the sun’s rays start
to stretch across the wall
instead of up it
she continued to record her height
till age thirteen
with the date and inches
written next to each notch
shortly before turning fourteen
one of her friends called it
killing her desire
to ever do it again
with just that one word
she’s seventeen now
and if you look real close
you will see four slight indentations
where her mom has
lightly tapped a screwdriver
to continue to plot the
progress of her growth
guessing as best she can
to its accuracy
she pretends not to notice
the shallow divots
and her mom pretends not
to care about making them.
By 9am the sun makes it’s
way across the middle of
a poster on her bedroom door
it’s a picture of Ellen Page
from the movie “Whip It”
holding the top rail
of a skating rink
with such a look of
determination in her eyes
that this one frame of film
made her feel like
anything was possible
the poster had
four tacks in it
one in each top corner
and one in the middle
of each side of it,
taking advantage of
the unique angle
the sunlight took
across her bedroom door
she had started another
chart of progression
behind her poster of
Ellen Page
this one was of her
love life.
The sun would illuminate it
as it went rolling along
over her bedroom walls
a short dash
with letters and a date
attached to it
A simple but effective code
in case of accidental discovery
when it was decoded
it meant
the next dash with a date
was close behind the first
Tommy owned one more dash
before falling off the grid
and into obscurity
their were a few more names
attached to various dashes
before each and every dash
going forward
was connected to the same
initials  K-T
A month ago
she told her girlfriend Cindy
she might need a bigger poster
to hide all the new dashes
she hoped to be making,
but looking behind her
poster now
she can see the last dash
was three weeks ago
written in bold red print
The sun wraps around
to the other wall now
she sits with her back
up against the bed frame
facing the new tapestry
being brought to life
by the sun
as it catches
a stuffed giraffe
worn and old
sitting on the far corner
of her dresser
she patiently watches
as it gets painted
by the sun
taking her back to
simpler times
before boys
and the kind of love
and heartache
that makes you wish
you never had to grow up.
She sticks her hand
between the mattress
and the box springs
pulls out a nice
leather bound journal,
she use to call it a diary
but around the time
she quit recording her height
she started calling it a journal
she leafs through
some of her previous entries
a month ago
her writing was so fluid
dotting her “i” with happy faces
her most upsetting entry
only a paragraph long
about a pair of jeans
she bought on line
that didn’t quite fit right
then came the day Kip said
they would always be
great friends
but he had met somebody else
her long rambling sentences
went on for pages
she would push so hard
on her pen
tearing through the paper
at times.
She put the date
the day and the time
in the top left corner
on a new page of her journal,
her eye catches a glint of light
dancing on the ceiling
of her room
a cheap necklace hanging
from a shelf
found its way into the
changing path of the sun
she lays her head back
on top of her bed
staring at the prism of colors
created by the light
passing through the
polished glass of the necklace
the ceiling looking
more like a desert sky
as the colors streak across it
like shooting stars
their movements magnified
by the gentle sway
of the necklace.
She looks back down
at the empty page
of her journal
gives a little shrug
and drops her pen
on to the empty page
closes her journal
and stuffs it back under
her mattress,
she hears a knock
on her bedroom door
“What?” she says,
in a very uninviting tone
“Your friend Cindy is here”
says her little brother,
knowing better than to
open the door
without written permission
“What’s she want?”
she asks him
“she didn’t feel the need”
“to fill me in on her plans”
“But if you want breakfast”
“You better hurry up”
“Cindy’s eating all the pancakes”
her little brother
relished that last part
their mom made
killer blueberry pancakes
and they both knew
Cindy could eat.
She could hear the sound
of her little brother
running down the stairs
yelling towards the kitchen
“She says she’s not Hungary!”
“Cindy can have hers”
her brother knowing
that will get her moving.
She pulls open the middle
drawer of her dresser
grabs a pair of shorts
throws herself backwards
on to her bed
with her legs in the air
she pulls off her sweats
puts both of her legs
in to her shorts
in one swift motion
popping off her bed
on to her feet
yanks off her sweatshirt
grabs a Roxy tee shirt
out of her closet
and as she bounces down
the stairs while trying to
squeeze into her shirt
she thinks,
“Maybe today,
Will take me to places,
Worth writing about,
as she jumps
the last five stairs
in an effort
to get a few of
those blueberry pancakes…
    Tom Allen…07-20-2017…