When we could no longer stand
fetching another wayward baseball
tossed over our neighbor's fence
and we tired of the hum of the billions of air conditioners
cooling the cave-like structures
that houses are to children at noon
with curtains drawn and each room gloomy,
On summer days so hot that the smooth top
of my dark hair could burn anyone who touched it
and the reflections of the shiny hubcaps
on expensive cars that joy rode through the neighborhood
We would drag our rusty wagon
with unleveled wheels that banged on the pavement
and made a horrible racket of sand toys rattling
that echoed up and down the deserted lane
to the park and back
before the endless globe of the sky
burst into color like the bruises and scrapes
our long day entailed, but which we wouldn't find
We used to take off our shoes
and peel back our sweaty little socks
then wade in the sand, warm on top
cool in the bottom,
soothingly grainy, soft, moist.
Or we would sit on the grayed wooden frame
and squeeze it in our tiny little hands.
We took turns swinging.
I would lean back so my hair touched the ground
and didn't worry that it would become littered with woodchips
I only imagined I swung so high,
pretended it wasn't my seven year old brother
but Daddy who was pushing me.
It was then that we'd say how much we missed him
but one of us always asked the others to stop
and we did, so that they would quit crying.
We would become silent then
as the drones of suburbia pressed back into our consciousnesses
and I would suggest we walked home.
The trees we'd climbed
and coaxed each other back out of
would become depthless black
fractured edges against the horizon.
They would frame the white sided rows
of identical houses
like a melancholy lace.
Beautiful black and tangerine
and no one to help me take a picture of it.