Friday, May 18, 2007

Summer Time

Delicious confusion of Sundays
were the summers when we were small.
Hotsunset, hotsunrise…
Each day began with chlorine and frogs,
the crispness of early morning light failing under
the weight of smoldering Alabama afternoons.
The heavy, yellow smell of honeysuckle
followed us inside after every late night
game of hide-n-seek.

So, naturally, we would get the days confused.

Not that we were irresponsible.
We went to the birthday parties
of the girls and boys we didn’t like
because Mom and Grandmother said we should.
We were quiet in
all the Libraries—
it is important to walk softly on the cold tile,
to turn the rough-smelling pages carefully.
We were polite to the church ladies,
who wore pantyhose even on the hottest days in August—
we smiled and thanked them when they told us we were going to be just
as pretty as our Mama,
and just as smart as Daddy.

We were not irresponsible;
We just forgot the order of the year.
We did not read our calendars or check our due dates.
We did not schedule.

You and I were very good at summer.
Taking naps in the heat of the day—
Making mud stew in the backyard and trying to get the dog,
who was way too smart for that,
to eat it—
Gorging on slices of watermelon until our hands and faces were slick
With sticky, black seeds.
You would laugh then,
at the seeds on my forehead or neck,
giggling at my vain attempts to remove them without getting more juice in my hair.
And I would laugh, too,
because your baby giggles were contagious,
and because another endless summer night was just a few hours away.

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