December 13, 2021
My letter to you was just getting going.
But while I was watching the butterfly, the word that was supposed to go next fell right past me and tumbled
There’s Davey now.
out of his house
under a backpack
of SUPPOSED TO’s.
Davey is SUPPOSED TO go to soccer practice.
After soccer practice, he is SUPPOSED TO go to math tutoring.
After soccer practice and math tutoring, he is SUPPOSED TO go to his violin lessons.
And after all that soccer and math and violining, he is SUPPOSED TO
Davey is NOT SUPPOSED TO THUNK!
is the noise
the Tumbling Word
as it meteors
into the front lawn
of the house
where Davey Dobbs lives.
Davey shudders. He blinks like he is just waking up.
He totters across the lawn toward the thunked thing.
He is wearing his cleats — something he is NOT SUPPOSED TO do because it makes unsightly cleat-holes in the lawn
[Choose A or B.]
which has won the prize
for Most Orderly Lawn
8 years in a row, a fact that
puffs his parents with pride
which his mom and dad
spend all their free time
watering and trimming
and singing little lullabies to
[Now, back to the story.]
and he tugs the chunk free from the grass.
Now there’s a jagged divot in the precious, precious lawn. Davey doesn’t notice. He’s enchanted by the thunked thing.
He tugs it free from the lawn and is surprised to find it is not a meteor but a word. He wipes the dirt off. He polishes the word on his soccer jersey and looks at it. The word is solid, but not too heavy. He scrutinizes it. The word is
It means “to wander.”
His parents do not like that word.
Davey is NOT SUPPOSED TO use that word.
But the word feels … important. It feels mysterious. It feels like it matters.
Davey has a thought
“I want to find out where the day goes”
which is strange because Davey isn’t used to having thoughts of his own.
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