The Babysitter

by Douglas Polk

her house,
outside of town,
a creek flowed in her yard,
algae green,
though cold and clear,
a makeshift bridge crossed the stream,
no rails,
only planks,
old and gray,
thrown over the narrow banks,
my Eden,
perfect in every way,
except for the rattlesnakes,
I’d sit on that bridge,
and dream,
while watching for tadpoles,
and crawdads,
and other aquatic things,
thinking how cool the water would be,
wishing to wade on in,
up to my knees,
the old lady,
a nervous type,
I was never allowed in the water,
so I would sit and dream,
praying I would not have to go back inside,
when the old lady would baby sit me.

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