Cocoa Beans



We lived in a duplex in Urbandale. My brother was born while we lived there. One day my dad and the man who lived next door brought home cocoa bean shells. They put them down as mulch in the planting area between our front porches. When it rained the shells smelled really good, not like anything else you ever smelled. There were some yews planted in there. I still recognize that smell if I am lucky enough to come across it.

One day I was sitting on the porch. The lady next door came outside and told me to move my bicycle out of the driveway because my dad would be coming home soon. I told her my dad wasn’t coming home because my mom and my dad were getting a divorce. She went into our house where my mom was. I waited a long time, but he didn’t come home.

One day my dad did come to our house. He brought me a present. It was an Army mess kit and canteen. With the green canvas covers. I really liked it. He said he would take me camping so I could use it. I only thought about camping after that.

He never took me camping.