ORANGES IN OCTOBER
by Dianne Moritz
That crisp October day we raced to Greenwood Park: Judy, Patty, you, me. No fear of strangers, then, who lure children away with promises of puppies and candies.
We scouted the outhouses, on the lookout for nasty words and graffiti.
“I know what f-u-c-k means!” I bragged. (Judy tattled and her mom banished us from their house for one long week.) Remember?
But, that day we climbed the twenty-one steps of the double-humped slide, placed smooth waxed paper beneath our blue-jeaned butts, and flew…down, down, down, faster than a speeding bullet...little Super-girls!
Heading home, I spied a dollar drifting over the green carpet of Mrs. Wilson's perfect lawn. “We’re rich!” you shouted, but I insisted we give it back. So we marched to her back door to relinquish our treasure.
“Oh, you darlings!” she gushed, turning on her shiny linoleum, and bringing down a large wooden bowl, Sunkist oranges nestled inside, big and round as baby suns.
Oranges! Oranges in October!
Back outside, we made monkey lips with the rinds and you called me a dumb shit.
“We coulda bought 20 Hershey bars!" you screamed. "Last one home's a monkey’s uncle!" Remember?
Then Mother asked us where in the world we got oranges in October, the tart scent of citrus lingering on my fingertips.
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Dianne Moritz is a children's poet and picture book writer with two published books from Kane Miller. She is a frequent contributor to Highlights for Children magazines and others.