Today Andy’s teaching me how to super-jump
on the swings. It’s about letting go
at just the right moment.
On my ninth try my legs hurt too much
to keep trying.
Hey, he says. I’ll tell you a secret
if you climb up the slide.
Whatever. This is way bigger
than a pinky-swear.
No way. As soon as I scramble
up, Mom calls from the porch
Come on, you have to tell me
now. We don’t have much time
before we have to eat dinner,
and then you have to go home.
If you don’t tell me now
I’m never going to know.
You have to promise you’ll keep it a secret.
I swear on my mom’s liquor table.
We go behind a tree in the back yard.
Andy closes his fist
except for the middle finger
and holds it up
to the slide.
I try it, too.
He pushes my hand down.
Now you know something
only grown-ups know.
I promise, I’ll use it the right way, I say.
Andy hits my arm,
harder than usual.
That’s not what you promised. No one knows
where you learned it, remember?
Yeah, of course, I say. But you have to give
me back Stranger in a Strange Land
You have to catch me first! he says,
and I’m already choking
on his dust.