Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On Being Eleven . . .

On Being Eleven in Florida
by Gail Goepfert

When you’re 11,
life is about the alligator
that cocked his head and swallowed
a needlefish in one gulp,

turtle, helmet-sized,
that halted a string of cars
until a driver hastened
its trip across the road,

the blue crab meat
devoured after hammering
the legs and claws to bits
on the brown paper tablecloth,

the dragon adventure,
on reserve at the library,
the last in the series,
consumed in less than a day,

pockets full of shells gathered,
lead sinkers and lures,
Boy Scout knife,
coins and candy wrappers,

and the prodding to say please,
pick upput away,
say thank you, remember

how to swallow life whole.

~ first published in Florida Review