When We Were Boys

When the bluegill went on bed and they’d bite a bare Eagle Claw hook. When our blistered skin stung and sweat burned our eyes, we’d lay on our backs and dream of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks and blue-eyed girls- blackbirds sat on cattails and witnessed it all.

When the winds turned cold and a flannel shirt felt good. When maple trees blushed for attention and the days drew short, we’d curl up in a pup tent and tell ghost stories – a screech owl perched on an oak limb witnessed it all.

When snow fell, and a blue jean jacket was no longer enough. When the butterflies vanished, and the geese showed up, we’d sit back-to-back in a cedar thicket debating which shift would be best if we wanted to hunt, fish, and chase a girl now and then – a squirrel lay curled in a nest and witnessed it all.

When a piece of tin intended for a barn, that was never more than a daddy’s dream, was the best sled we could fashion, we’d bend it up at the corners, shoved off, and leave the rest in God’s hands – a possum in a briar patch at the bottom of the hill witnessed it all.

When we lay on the ground naming a litter of pups and then sat on a mare that didn’t mind as long as we scratched her back, my daddy took an out of focus picture, so we’d never forget. We didn’t have much, but we had each other, and man, we were good at being boys.