Oh Summertime…

A blue dress with a low neckline.   A fiery, free spirited head of red curls.  A pair of pearl earrings from Paris.  Mascara. And to complete the ensemble, that smile.  That one.  The one that says I can do anything….

…except get the concrete out from under my fingernails.

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And the bruises will just have to heal in time.  The travel mugs with coffee and the trail mix and the peanut butter sandwiches.  The sunrise mornings and sunset evenings. 40 hours is long gone…

…like that brown dog and her ball.

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Off down a quiet street with children on bicycles.  People laughing, calling me by name, asking how I am.  Real neighbors. Friends…

… laughing around a fire pit.

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Marshmallows and chocolate.  Graham crackers and the comfort of a fire.  God, I want to go camping.  It’s never too hot for a campfire. The flames flicker dreamily.  Orange and red…

…that inescapable sun burns hot and unrelenting.

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And the sweat forms at the top of my back, between my spine and my shoulder blade.  It traces a long, slow, disgusting tendril under my neon orange shirt. My eyes hurt under the prison of the light and the dust and heat.  There is no escape from that sun as I whisper for the breeze and pray she answers and reach for the water…

… in a cooler in the back of a pickup truck.

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Ice upon ice upon ice.  Beer I wouldn’t touch and water I can’t drink enough.  Ice cream.  French Fries.  All right, let’s try country music.  Windows down.  Motorcycles humming to the tune of a wild freedom.  Flowers folding slowly.  Pick a road.  What adventures lie ahead?

Won’t you take me to the top of the mountains?  Release me across the wild waters.  Let me run down endless roads toward a somewhere within myself.

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Just give me bug spray and I will fear nothing.

It’s that season.

Sunshine and exhaustion.

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