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Rubber Duckies

An image on the photo covered cork board, second-hand

Reminds me that I was landlocked, loving loosely because life was a game of duck duck goose in the basement.


Was that before or after the rubber rat stuck to the ceiling plaster?

Regardless, laughter bubbles like when we got in trouble baby-powdering the basement in that squeaky, leaky house.

Puffs of white dust must still have risen when we dashed as we laughed around the circle.



It boggled Mom’s mind when we goggled our eyes and went swimming on the blue flipside of the frog blanket, sun-tanning and fanning our faces under fluorescent sun.


Cinnamon raisin toast brought us home from the carpet beach and left us to boast of sand castles as we shivered with the blizzard winds sweeping the creaking palace of our home.



Slippery-slidey, lefty-loosey, give me a boost and I'll send that ladybug flying sky-high away from the kiddie pool currents.

She can’t get wet!

I'll get a summer sunburn running and diving on the blow-up waterslide.

Jump and twirl and scare Grammy as you learn it’s likely a bad idea to tumble down the ladder, fumbling for a rung even as you willingly flung yourself, giggling, down.



Now, I think back to red wings spotted black and cry.

I recall beaches in blankets and laugh at the rubber rat splat but I think back and cry.

Why, I wonder, do tears stream when I think of roller coaster screams and climbing trees, seeing if I could hear the birds better up there, wanting to cheer even when caught creeping across the shingles.

I lost that little, emerald, Mickey Mouse ring behind the freezer, but it'll get easier to sing without worrying what they'll think.

Why, then, do I weep when I remember counting sheep on my flannel bedsheets? Maybe I learned when calendar pages turned and time dripped by like the leaky bathtub faucet, leaving streaky green stains across a shrinking bucket list, I learned that life isn't as simple as a game of duck duck goose.

©Kaylee Schuler

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