fireflies’ flash and crickets’ song
fuzzes the greypurple light of dusk.
The birch silvers the evening.
I bite the tip off my lime sherbet cone.
We sail on our training-wheeled bikes
through empty streets.
Shannondale pool beckons
in the heavy, thirsty air.
We will spend all day, pruning
in the blue and sun.
Pickup baseball in the gravel-lined streets:
only occasional shouts of “Car!” interrupt.
Dark falls so late.
on the screened-in porch,
safe from mosquitoes,
for lights out
to sneak off into the night
to Amberly Elementary’s playground,
or across the highway,
or just to a friend’s house
where we will whisper through the screen
in the glow of the streetlight.
We climb the cathedral.
Though the wall is a ladder of bricks,
the way a friend gets swallowed up into the dark
as she ascends and straddles over the lip of the roof
forty feet up
makes my stomach go hollow.