Redwood Avenue

We lived on Redwood Avenue, in Winnipeg. In an upstairs duplex, above a family with two young girls. I think they were from Holland. It is where I caught the chicken pox. It is where father shot a mouse with my pop gun that fired corks. It is where I got my first hockey stick and where we lived when I learned to write the letter l in cursive. I was in grade 1, we were just learning to print at school. It is where my pet turtle Pokey escaped his plastic pond and was found months later, desiccated by the bathroom heat vent. It was where the bully, Danny, who lived across the street, told me I had to give him $2 or he wouldn’t let me pass on my way to school. He claimed to have a switchblade knife. He was just in 2nd or 3rd grade. It is where a new house was being built beside ours and I found a short piece of 2×4, which I later threw out our 2nd floor porch window and struck the downstairs neighbor child in the head. She was playing on the sidewalk path beneath the window. She didn’t die. It was where our dog got hit by a car on Redwood Avenue. We took it to the back yard, laid it down and watched it slowly breathe. I think it died. It was where sister’s albino hamster, Snowball, escaped and was mistaken for a mouse and was stomped on by the downstairs neighbor’s boot. It was squished into a red and white bloody pulp. It died and the neibour said he was sorry.

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