by Than Pence
I'm invited to a birthday party with an unusual theme and for someone I don't really like.
|“Whose birthday is this?” I ask with a groan?
“Your little friend from day camp, Gary Simone.”
Gary is so not my friend, not at all.
He’s too awkward and weird and so freaking tall!
But Mom knows nothing, as usual. Nadda.
“And it’s a winter themed party? No pool full of water?”
“They have a pool but we won’t be swimming.
Hold onto those haystacks. That yellow light’s dimming!”
Clutching the tray, I watch as Mom speeds
And look down on my favorite wintery treats.
Haystacks: chow mein noodles with butterscotch
I don’t want to eat one. Outdoors is far too hot.
When the heat is arisen, I don’t want any candy.
I just want to swim and call up my real friend, Randy.
“Will Randy be there?” I don’t ask, I plead.
“No, he won’t.” I slump as my hopes fly at high speed.
Before long, we arrive in the Simone driveway.
A loud motor is churning in the backyard and I stray
To discover the sound. And then I’m surprised.
A machine is making snow! The yard now disguised!
Gangly Gary greets me with a no-eye-contact grin.
I look up at his face, at his acne-free chin.
I look down right away, feeling ashamed of my zits.
How many kids are gonna get in their hits?
Gary is quick to introduce me around.
I flush with embarrassment and don’t make a sound.
But all of his friends don’t point and are kind.
They don’t stare at my chin or at my troubled hairline.
After hours of fun in Gary’s wintery land,
He thanks me for the haystacks while shaking my hand.
“They’re my favorite snack when it get’s really cold.”
“They were amazing. I could eat them ‘til I’m old!”
I pause and then ask why Gary invited me.
He grinned stupidly and said, “What do you mean?
We’re friends and you’re nice. And most people are jerks.
At day camp, you say ‘Hi’ when others make jokes or worse.”
“Well I’m glad I could come. I really had a blast.”
And I meant it and wished the party would last.
That awkward kid became my best friend.
We were quite a team, for forever. The end.
Line Count: 40