We were six, seven, eight and a half, and ten, and we went everywhere together. We stayed up way past our bedtimes. We always looked both ways. We knew Where the Sidewalk Ends by heart. We were constantly looking for moonbirds. We never wanted the night to end, but there was always another one lifting up from the horizon.
We were unprepared at our piano lessons. We all broke our wrists the same year. We played sardines and almost locked ourselves in the cellar. We saw old Mrs. Abrams accidentally run over our beagle, and we cried in our separate bedrooms into faded pinstripe pillowcases. In early spring we swam farther than anyone thought we could, and climbed out of the pool shivering, grinning through the dripping water.
You took us to our favorite place on earth that summer. We were wild. We met the girls in the rental cabin next door. One of us got his heart broken, and the rest of us just laughed at the poor sap, though secretly we'd gotten our hearts broken too. We came back home and wrote our names inside stacks of spiral notebooks. We were at the end of the bus route and we never sat together. The girls at school were pretty, but they were nothing like those girls at the lake.
We were so excited for Christmas that we couldn't get to sleep. We were each other's lookouts and peeked at our meticulously wrapped gifts. We were getting good at lying. We were difficult, we were territorial, we were jealous. We tried to tell you all sorts of things but could not always find the right words. We were just trying our best. Even when we were older, the feeling always stayed with us. Whenever we were with each other, the space in our hearts no longer felt so cavernous.