Dear Summer

You were wild. You were big and unruly, a giant butterfly in the draperies. You were backyard swinging and hammock reading, leaf collecting and worm searching. You were skinned knees and balance bike riding and Mom, can I wear my helmet to the grocery store? and Well, yeah, I guess so, if you want?

You were early morning eggs with hot sauce at the coffee shop, typing a melody I didn’t yet know. You were 1,000 words here, then another 350 – more eggs, more coffee – then 600 and 875 – more eggs, more coffee – again and again and again until once, on a stormy afternoon, a final word count of 70,451 appeared where none used to be, and I shut the computer and stuffed it into my backpack and drove way way way over the speed limit to hug the folks at home who sacrificed the most.

You were Chinese songs and pool noodles and Saltwater sandal tan lines on our feet. You were ripe cherry tomatoes plucked from the garden, rinsed with the hose. You were friendships growing apart, others rising to the sun.

You were out-of-town work trips for Ken, then for me, then for Ken again until we’d pass each other in the kitchen and swap luggage and sync calendars and kiss goodbye.

There were many dry erase wall love notes to write.

You were a hurricane asking only after productivity, but when we offered less, you laughed and shrugged and thought it fine.

We did too.

You were easy in the hard way. You brought sweat and tears, but not enough blood to mop up. Not enough to make us remember.

Where there should have been a scar, you left a pretty patterned Band-Aid.

That’s the kind of summer you offered.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe that’s not the kind of summer you offered.

Maybe that’s just the kind of summer we took from you.

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