Ice-Cream Man



By: Lena Hartsough

I get to be at the Playground

every day.

Dada takes me there

and tells me to wait.

I get to play

every day.

I always play by myself,

but I like it.

I get to run around,

and swing,

and sometimes

The Ice-Cream Man

is there, and

he gives me Ice-Cream.

He lets me pick

WHATEVER

I want!

Sometimes the grownups ask why I play by myself.

I tell them ’cause I’m a

BIG BOY

now!

I’m

FOUR!

The Ice-Cream Man

sometimes talks to me,

when there’s no one at the

Playground.

He says weird things.

He says

“follow your dreams.”

He says

“everything will be okay.”

He says

“your dada loves you very much.”

I don’t know why he says that.

Sometimes he reads to me.

He brings books,

and shows me the pictures.

They belonged to a boy he knows.

Some nights,

he gives me food and

waits for Dada to come get me.

He shows me stars.

He names them.

They have big names.

He asks me questions, like

what do I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be lots of things, like

a fireman and

an Ice-Cream Man.

When I said that, he was

sad.

He picked me up

for the first time then.

After that he hugged me a lot.

That was when Dada started being

later,

and later,

and later.

We saw more stars.

The Ice-Cream Man

said that they move.

R

e

a

l

l

y

S

l

o

w

l

y.

Today, it is cold.

The Ice-Cream Man

lets me have Ice-Cream anyway.

There aren’t that many people in

the Playground.

After I have my Ice-Cream,

the Ice-Cream Man

tells me about how

Ice-Cream is made.

Then I run

around

and

around

the play structure.

I climb it.

The Ice-Cream Man

calls me over,

and we eat a sandwich.

Then we wait for Dada.

The Ice-Cream Man

sits with me,

on the floor.

It’s the first time he’s done that.

I start getting sleepy.

Dada’s very late,

The Ice-Cream Man

says.

But I can’t go to sleep.

I’m a

BIG BOY,

and

BIG BOYS

stay up and wait for their Dadas.

When I wake up, there are people

talking.

And lots of

red and blue lights.

The Ice-Cream Man

is holding me,

and talking to a

Policeman.

I don’t get what they’re saying.

The Policeman

says that someone was on their

way here when

IT

happened.

The Ice-Cream Man

holds me tighter.

He says something I don’t

understand.

He says,

“I can’t believe it.”

He says,

“What did he do to deserve this?”

He says,

“He doesn’t deserve this,

this taste of

Death’s

Kiss.”

What is

Death’s?

Why does it kiss?

They talk more,

and I start

falling

back

asleep.

But then someone is

moving

me.

The Policeman

is carrying me, and I

don’t like it.

I want

The Ice-Cream Man.

I start crying, and kicking.

The Ice-Cream Man

waves.

The Policeman

puts me into a car.

The car with the

red and blue lights.

The Ice-Cream Man

still

waves.

 

Lena Hartsough is a ninth grader at San Francisco Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco, California.