Nine

We were going places, meeting people.
From Grandma's house I was allowed to walk
to Cherry St. Playground, taking Billy.
But when I wanted to leave he didn't 
so I said "We can go a different way"
and finally he agreed. But I realized 
after a tiring detour we were lost.
A kind lady drove us to Sigsbee St.

Excited to travel by herself, Jean
flew West, spent Easter Break with grandparents 
at the mission house in New Mexico.
Got her hair braided, admired Zuni clothes
and was awed by native ceremonies.
Why did Grandpa and Grandma frown on them?
47A3FFC6-06BE-40BE-8A43-8D118DDEAA20
Twenty years later Jean's son spent summer
weeks in Greenbelt with Grandma Marjorie 
who wrote: Nine-year old had fun at the pool,
more fun after the high school dudes showed up--
trying new moves, one-hand or no-hand dives;
racing those two, loaning them his goggles.
All fun, no talk till leaving, one asked "What's 
your name?" "Judah" "Good name." Three smiles.

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