Before the Change by Katarina Boudreaux

Before the Change

The day long
like a wet bed sheet,
we lingered near
the water and
considered the
strengths of several
varieties of wildlife
until I chose an egret
and you chose
a catfish as
our spirit animals.

We compared
the strengths
of our bicycles.
Mine was
nothing special,
but rolled like
purple thunder.
Yours was pink
and glorious.

We heard the
song before we
saw the truck,
and fueled by
heart and hunger,
raced across
the clover field,
you in the lead
as always,
riding free handed,
your smile fuller
than a rain heavy sky.

Your body was
beautiful in
the sweating air,
clean and beating,
your eyes only
for ice cream
and lakefront
revelry that summer
before the change
when blood did
not mean death
but life, and words
were no longer
for butter but
cutting flesh.

by Katarina Boudreaux

Katarina on Twitter: @mignonfleur

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Editor’s Note: In this poem, short lines reflect the fleeting nature of childhood just on the cusp of the teen years, with all of its attendant angst.


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