The summer Neil Armstrong shot to the moon, I jumped at hopscotch drawn on cracked concrete, while new neighbors moved into the paint-scarred house next door. As bombs exploded worlds away, a young girl named Shirley stood, stared, clutched the downspout’s protruding arm, told me the war’s jungle killed her brother. I pointed to the game, but she shook her head, afraid of crashing against a hard surface. The day I heard Shirley’s mother yelling, my radio was tuned to WJPS. The Animals sang: We gotta get out of this place. The beat swung through screens and into the street. Shirley ran to our door, sundress rumpled, left cheek pink as Avon lipstick. Mother led her to the kitchen, fed her chicken soup, as if Campbell kept the recipe to happiness sealed behind a red and white label.

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