A Ten-Year-Old’s Summer, 1974, Minnesota



we’d dive into the river
slip under the root beer colored surface
to grab ahold of the swaying weeds
which grew from the silty bottom
anchor ourselves in the murk
and see who could hold their breath longer

whoever broke first
rose up and gulped air
propelled by preservation
used their allowance
to buy the pop and gum
at Hooley’s grocery store

peddling home
we’d sip our 7UPs
racing the purple twilight
and lightning bugs
to glowing porch lights
and unconcerned parents

who had watched us walk out the door
as the sun started to rise
not even bothering to ask us
where we were headed
or with who
never doubting we’d return


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 21


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