©2017 E. R. Smith
Mom never has much money, but she sure knows how to find fun for free. Today was Central Park picnic day. Mommy fried a boatload of chicken, packed apples, and other stuff; time to eat under the sky she always says. Joey and I excited; little sister Mary starts whining about the walking…she’s four with short legs. I promise to carry her on my back to cheer her up. Now Migdalia’s looking at me with death eyes cause I really can’t carry her anymore. Six is way heavier than four. Joey tells her they will run all the way to the fountain then jump in. Mom would murder us, never will that happen. Six believes more than twelve knows, Migdalia’s death eyes turn sunny.
We here at the park, mom’s looking for shade. She let us dip our feet in the fountain since no one was looking. She told Migdalia she was too pretty to drown. Dalia’s happy; pretty staring at her wet sandals. Kids crack me up, so little makes ’em happy. Fourteen is harder. I stare at the sky, I love watching clouds change shape. I watch the birds, wondering where they’re going in such a big group. I keep my thoughts to myself mostly. Mom already has too much whining and worry going on. Sometimes I wish I could come here alone with mom. Lay on the blanket look up at the sky and wonder, like when Joe and I were little. Before Dalia and Mary were born. Now I’m kinda mom’s helper, Joey helps me. I stare at the birds wishing for wings to lift me to an exciting place I’ve never seen before. I want to be at the tip of the “V” shape they make, so I can decide where we go. I wanna have lunch in a tree, under shady leaves, with my bird friends. Listen to them brag about all the places they’ve traveled to. Like Denise does whenever her family comes back from visiting Puerto Rico. I’ve never been in a plane. I look up again and ask God to give me wings someday; not like the ones Denise pinned to her shirt from riding a plane. I want real wings, like St. Michael the Arch Angel. He’s real. I told Joey Superman isn’t. Like St. Michael, I’d like to fly, and work for God. I figure God will send me everywhere. Then when I have vacation time; I can take mom and us somewhere new.