Olatunji Osho-Williams

After a three-day reunion with my childhood home,

my dad recommends I mow the lawn,

and before I pull on shorts and an old band t-shirt,

I connect-the-dots of scars and bumps

grown in barefoot summers,

when my backyard promised answers


What does the moon feel like?


Knees scraping the driveway.


What’s under this log?


Worms, ants, and a splinter.


Should I drink from the hose?


If you water the yard, the grass will grow faster.


I push the lawnmower by

the corner in my garden

that reeks of basil and bad decisions,

and I remember warmer afternoons

when the air would squeal with heat

and I’d run to the hose before I’d run inside,

and drink like a madman.


Should I drink from the hose?

Pollen bursts over pockmarked legs

and I pass by the rotten boards

sunken in the shed floor

rabbits call home,

thinking of the times I baked

freeze-dried carrots al dente in the August heat


I sweat and bend

in and around the fence posts I used as goals, the tree stump I used to pick apples from,

the ditch that twisted an ankle,

and shut off the lawnmower at the pavement.


Should I drink from the hose?

The sun is high when I grip the nozzle

and the hose swells,

with a promise to

pull scabs from memories

lost in the tall grass,

ready to release me,

and I let myself go

down the years I left

underneath flipped logs

and pull the nozzle closer

letting the moment run down my chin

and soak the ground below.

Olatunji Osho-Williams is a sophomore studying Journalism, International Studies, and Spanish. He enjoys orange juice with espresso, and is a lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi.