Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Author:Jacqueline Woodson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Published: 2020-08-31T16:00:00+00:00

Used to Be

Used to be that my mom would make

these little lemon cakes that looked

like tiny loaves of bread. And me and my boys would each get our own

and a glass of milk.

The glasses had football teams on them.

Giants. Jets. Packers. Steelers. Seahawks. Raiders. Broncos. Bears. Even the 49ers.

Even the Patriots.

Used to be ten of those glasses. And four of us friends.

So we always had our choice.

Used to be the Patriots and 49ers never got chosen

by any of us.

Used to make us laugh.

Used to be that we’d all sit in the kitchen and talk

about stuff like why

we didn’t like the Patriots but loved the Giants.

And on days when my dad was home, he’d come in,

grab the 49ers or Patriots glass and fill it with milk.

Stare us down while he gulped it.

Used to be he’d always burp real loud, then say

Now, that’s the best milk I ever tasted.

Grow and know, he’d say. Grow and know.

Used to be we’d laugh and defend our own glasses,

argue about what teams were trash

and what teams weren’t.

Used to be we agreed on one thing, though:

My dad’s team was the best in the NFL and my dad

was the best tight end any of us had ever known.

Used to be we’d recite his stats over and over,

the four of us just sitting at the table

with my mom’s cake in our bellies

and our football glasses getting empty. My boys around me

as we laughed our way from

Friday afternoon into Friday night and

a whole lot of weekends too.

But how’d it get to be Used to Be?

Wasn’t even a long time ago.

Just feels like that.

Just. Feels. Like. That.


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