I The circle looped in on itself no start and end but the numbers on the houses, crabgrass plots back to back like brothers in a hotel bed. We ran barefoot on the new tar road run wince hobble walk with gravel between our toes. We roamed free, no collars no fences like the transient dogs that wandered in. Salt-brined babies in the Texas bake, we hid and sought until the sun went down.
II Mailboxes welcomed us, red flags aloft in soldierly rows saluted, guards to hopeful letters. We played postman to hand-scrawl on white pages, blue lines. Check yes or no and flattened cootie catchers passed from hand to hand. A dry breeze whipped the stripes and stars atop the neighbor’s pole. No purple mountains, no amber waves Just us at the end of the road before our parents called us home.