February 4, 2011

Lee A. Tonouchi

BATTERIES

I used to nag my Grandma
buy me toys, buy me toys.
And wenevah she bought me one,
Grandpa would go “Too much omocha.”

So raddah than get da scoldings
I used to colleck stuff
I found around da house, like
matchbook covers,
bottlecaps,
used stamps.
I even tried collecking rocks
but wuzn’t really
interesting to me.
My Grandpa kept saying I should
colleck leaves.
I tink he wuz trowing da hints like
he wanted me for help him
rake da yard.

Den one day
wen I wuz emptying da rubbish can
I found one used battery.
Wuz real diff ’rent
looking. Wuz deep blue
and bronze color,
wit one cat drawing on top.
Da shiny metallic colors
wuz pretty trips.

My Mom toll my Dad
abunai,
dangerous if I start
collecking dat kine,
bumbye da acid leak
and might go insai my eye.
God gave us one perfect son
and now this is how we take care?

I wuz perfeck my Mom sed.
I tot she wuz perfeck too.
I wuz happy God gave her to me.

My Dad just rolled his eyes
cuz my Mom wuz always worrying about me.
So for make her happy, he toll me
wen brown stuff starts for come out
den das wen I had for trow ’em away.

Da brown stuff is acid, poison he sed.
But da only time I seen acid come out
wuz wen I leff
da flashlight on for like
couple years
and so all da electricity wen go leak.

I figured
so long as
da battery
wuzn’t insai nothing
electricals
den nevah need werry.
Safe. Can keep ‘em forevah.

One day my Mom took me Shirokiya.
She wuz happy I nevah ask for one toy
in long time
so she sed I can have one
brand new battery,
anyone I wanted.
And Shirokiya had all da
colorful-kine kines from Japan.

Aftah we leff,
My Mom buckled me in my seat
and I put my new green battery
insai my giant nori container.
Me and my Mom wuz
jus driving back home
wen all of a sudden
we got bang from da side.
I seen my battery jar
buss open
and all my batteries
wen fly all ova da place.

My Mom wuzn’t moving.
She wuzn’t checking on me
for see if I wuz okay.
Planny people wuz looking at us
from on top da sidewalk.
And I seen
planny blood leaking
from my Mom.
So much blood
wuz coming out
I knew God wouldn’t
let me keep her
anymore.

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010

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