That sound heard
even from the farthest room,
that jingle announcing ice cream was near.
A starting gun for my knobby knees
to make a mad dash to the little white truck.
Already tasting the crunch, the coconut
and the strawberry running down my chin.
Hours reading in my ballerina pink bedroom,
four-post canopy bed, bubblegum curtains
swaying. Perfect for a princess with warriors
stacked on shelves. Judy Blume,
Lucy Maude Montgomery, Ann M. Martin
sweeping me away, keeping me
company beneath many swollen suns.
Running through the backyard sprinkler.
That sparkling arch chasing
my brown, toasted skin. My four-year-old
sugarcane giggle floating late
in the August afternoon with wrinkled fingertips
and toes coated in warm, Summer water.
Sticky July nights. My palms cupped
like mason jars, a temporary home
for neon fireflies so that for a moment
I knew what it felt like to hold the light
in my bare hands.
The blacktop behind the school building,
playing foursquare, hopscotch, and tetherball.
The heat bearing down on the birth of a small girl’s
competition, determined to learn, determined to win
but then a boy said Hey with a smile full of secrets
and in a brief second on the playground
everything shifted. Nothing else mattered
but getting more moments like that one.
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