Summer hung on us like wet moss.
Thoughts of school were a million miles away.
And the only thing that mattered in the world
Was whether Robyn Smith was grounded that day.
She'd stolen a canoe for us to use;
We spray painted it red to cover our tracks
But we'd seriously underestimated Mrs. Powell.
And the depths from which she’d attack.
The canoe sat half painted and I waited.
Mrs. Powell had made the call.
I had enjoyed the canoe that summer
But Robyn had taken the fall.
When Robyn bounded up the path
Her face full of youthful challenge,
She flopped down and asked what manner of action
We should take in exacting revenge.
But Oyster Creek was calling us to her,
And Robyn had nothing more to lose
So before she had to return the canoe,
We decided to enjoy one last cruise.
As we floated lazily down her banks,
Our childhood in the waters behind,
We caught a scent I’ll never forget
No matter how I try.
White and ghostly, bloated and rotting
The decayed gar rocked gently against the banks.
Our sense of revenge was greater that day
Than caring about how bad the fish stank.
It took weeks for Mrs. Powel to get rid of the stench
That a fumigator took a week to trace.
Remembering the moment he looked down the chimney
I still smile at the puzzlement on his face.