The Summer of ’76

We drove into the city at night

on a freeway lined with lights

past car dealerships hunkered down

for the evening on the edge of town.

From the back of the VW wagon

where I had a pallet of sorts

I watched this new city appear behind me

as it spooled out in the rear window.

The next morning I stepped

out and gasped to steal a breath

from air as thick and sticky as my

grandmother’s make-up in church.

A tree made for climbing dominated

one side a the vast expanse of lawn;

I clambered up the trunk and

perched on a limb, an eight year old

human bird child afraid to fly

but not so scared that I wouldn’t try.

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