The Maynard
Spring 2015

Kenneth Pobo

Normal in Our Normal Suburb

We painted the living room walls
magenta. Before the picture window,
an avocado which never fruited.
Dark green leaves reached the ceiling.

Mom recorded daily temperatures
in her diary. I had forgotten
her clear handwriting,
small but legible letters.

A fake mahogany coffee table
that we rarely set coffee on.
Magazines and a well-used vase.

The TV used to be a console.
It did console me when my parents
went grocery shopping and I played
DC5 singles loud. In 1970,
a color set. Mary Tyler Moore
looked like Dorothy once she gets to Oz,
Laura Petrie left in black and white.

Disease cut down Dutch elm trees.
Our leaf canopy became sunny emptiness.
Shade died on the street. I rode
my Schwinn no-handed uptown
to Ben Franklin’s 39 cent oldies pile,
where I got Herman’s Hermits singing
“Just A Little Bit Better.” I had

a normal childhood. In magenta
and avocado. And a stuffed dog
named Hector that I married.