We said goodbye to school
at least until next fall
and “hello” to bare feet
and mud between our toes-
a pleasure closely matched to ice cream cones
and running naked in the rain.
The days lingered lazily
and the sun freckled our faces.
The woods was our world away
from the eyes of parents.
We’d blaze trails and set up “house”
with trees acting as extra “playmates.”
Our bellies became acquainted with nature
as we ate may apples, crab grass,
and occasionally a mud pie for desert.
Nightfall never meant the end to our days
although the mosquitoes
devoured our sweat and mud covered skin.
Fireflies lit a field, setting an awesome wonder in the
blackness of the rolling farm
that no street light could ever match.
Sleep always came so peacefully
as the whippoorwills’ songs swept us
to plan another day of adventure.
All the adults seemed to take on a frenzied
form of labor over gardens,
canning, yards, and auto mechanics;
reminding us how glorious being a child really is and
how sad it’ll be when we must grow up.
Hours were spent under an oak tree
contemplating our plans for
running away from the ever threatening doom
We made a pact to never let “it” get us
like it “got” our forefathers.
the lullaby hum of a fan in an open window
takes me back to those carefree days and
reminds me of the pact.
I’ve learned to compromise on it…
I may never run naked in the rain
without much reservation
mud between my toes still feels just as wonderful
fireflies always make me forget
that I ever really grew up.