5


Speed and Ella

My uncle Speed
grew through his hair
before I was born
so says my dad,
and long before
Mom and Dad
moved away from
Blue Rock.

Ella is Speed’s friend
they’re always together
she, with the torpedoes
on her chest,
that make her hugs
an education
for a thirteen year old
like me.

Speed and Ella
always laughing
no rings on their fingers
but touching in ways
that suggest more
than what they say,
so says my dad
his eyes on Ella’s torpedoes.

Speed and Ella
know every dirty joke
and act them out after
we kids go to sleep.
Or so they think.
And my dad drinks his beer
and laughs until his eyes
tear up, still on Ella’s torpedoes.

But after Speed and Ella
go home to wherever
my father talks about
how perfect they are
for each other,
but the way he says it
doesn’t make it sound
so perfect.

Back home from vacation
my dad tells my mom
how lucky they are
to have left Blue Rock,
and how Speed and Ella
are just typical.
Whatever
that means.

And he tells her
that Speed
can’t be that happy
or he’d marry Ella
and have kids
like us, but I know,
just like Speed, I’d settle
for torpedoes.

Yet all I see
in Speed and Ella
is happy back and forth,
his eyes on her eyes,
not her torpedoes.
And it makes me wonder
if my dad
was adopted.

Richard Satterlie (NeuroFizz)