Once upon a time the small girl
learned that it was best to play

“You’re a girl, you can’t climb
trees with us,” her brothers laughed
and prohibited the smaller child
from playing up the tree she
knew she could climb. She could climb
faster and higher than either of her
brothers larger frames could.

She was agile, flexible and strong IMG_1185
in her way. Built like a ribbon
she could wind her way among the
branches clinging to the trunk
stretching up to the higher branches
in the apple tree where she would sit
in peace without the jeering sneering

“It’s not my fault, I’m a girl,” she
thought to herself. I can do anything
my brothers can. When they climbed the
tree in the front yard, she climbed the
tree in the back yard. When they were in
both trees she walked atop the jungle gym
bars arms raised high to the sky. She
could imagine being higher up with the
wind blowing her so that the tree trunk
moved along with the maple leaves.
She heard giggling. The boys
laughed at her for being smaller.

Saturday, her father was changing the
oil on the Plymouth, her brothers ran in
stupid giddy circles refusing to be
helpful so she slid under the car, smiled
and said,”Hi Daddy.” He smiled and said,
“Hi” back to her, “Hand me the wrench.”

The small girl usually was wearing a dress
and tights that got caught or got dirty
underneath the car, her hair was messy
too and that made her mother scowl and fuss
at her when she came into the house. “Why do I
have to wear a dress then?” “Because girls wear
dresses and skirts. You’re supposed to look pretty,
not dirty,” her mother told her. That made her sad.

She had a good memory for what tools were needed for
which jobs and learned about the tools that were
necessary to change the oil, replace the
spark plugs, change the hoses and air filters,
replace a flat tire and add air to an inner
tube. Her Daddy was a mechanic and could fix
just about anything on the car. She didn’t know
what a machinist was, but he had a CB radio
and a tool bench in the basement with tools that
smelled like oil and grease. It was messy, but she
could always find what he sent her inside to find.


One thought on “Small Girl Plays Alone

Any thoughts on the above post are appreciated! Otherwise, I think I must be living under a rock.

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