A Borrowed Childhood Memory, Hammonton, 1974
for my mother
Maple leaves plastered to the rain gutter grates.
Your father’s mower revved and buzzed for a moment
as he caught another frog gone unnoticed
in the yellow-spotted front yard where garbage pails
sat for too long. Chalk on the sidewalk. Worn Chucks
hung from phone pole wires and tree limbs.
You and the others hopped on banana bikes to outrun
mutts let loose by the crazy “Purple Lady” on the corner.
The solstice is only, actually, a fleeting moment—
Sun’s highest point in the sky, longest day of the year.
And, no longer the hunted, but the hunter—you glowed.
The blinking bulbs of fireflies plucked, the iridescent
paste slathered, nubs worn like jewels. Nights only
got longer. This last time you shared the cosmic.