We Became Summer
Long before we needed protection,
we formed tribes and picked a chief.
First-borns have a knack for stirring idolatry.
Bike rides energized us on innocent mornings.
The sun perfumed our fresh skin,
before self-awareness replaced laughter
and possession replaced play.
At dusk, seduction set in.
Bruises faded and mosquitoes fled.
Lightning bugs appeared, as beer-soaked dads
threw teen neighbors into backyard swimming pools
and we invited boys into the playhouse shed,
before ennui replaced embracing fear of the unknown.
by Amy Barone
Editor’s Note: Long, lazy, childhood summers inevitably give way to adulthood. This poem uses that memory as an extended metaphor for growing up.