The Cave Off Gayle Way

The boy seemed a little down.
He looked up from his book
when I asked and said,
Bobby and them are calling me a baby
only because I don’t want to go to the cave.
Off Gayle Way?
That one.

Bobby says
that anybody who gets to a certain age
who won’t go into the cave
is a coward
afraid of his own shadow
not that you can see your own shadow in there.
It’s too dark and cold
and you don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t know why anybody
would want to spend any time
in a cave anyway.
What’s there to do in there?

They say you’re not grown up
until you’re willing to go into the cave
but I don’t see any point
and I don’t see any point
in talking to Bobby anymore,
anyhow.

No reason you need to listen
to anybody trying to talk you
into doing anything
you don’t want to do, I said.
The cave doesn’t mean anything to you
why go?

That’s what I said!
And if you ever find an interest
in stalctytes
or stalagmites
or hunting for fossils or gold
or any other kinds of treasures
and you want to go out Gayle Way,
that’s not Bobby or anyone’s business anyway.

He looked at me
like I didn’t know what I was talking about
and returned to his book.
He didn’t seem down anymore.
Mission accomplished?

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