She places a small, red apple
on the wooden dresser to her immediate left.

She says that, for the rest of the day,
that apple will be called a toothpick.

later that day in the garden,
we are burying the second mailman of the week.

She tells me that mailmen are sent to us occasionally
to help us fertilize the soil, and grow healthier flowers.

That we must use every part of the mailman
and she hands me another pair of blue cargo shorts.

Inside, after supper we’re sitting at the table
eating freshly baked toothpick pie.

She tells me I will start school tomorrow
and that the classroom will be in the den.

My teacher will look and sound exactly like her
but will not actually be her.

I lay awake that night, staring at the ceiling
Thinking about what school will be like

wondering what things I will learn,
and if my teacher will like my cargo shorts.

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