Thirty Summers

Stretched across tarmacadam

we lie on our bellies

basking lizards grasping chalk

not talking

as we make our marks


thirty summers earlier I did just the same

some things have changed since

but that hot tar smell intoxicates

and these days seem never-ending still


she lies beside me, seven years of her

our elbows touch

she is real

she draws quickly and earnestly

she is real


the tar comes alive with rainbows

an alien riding a blue bike

stars and clouds and her name

with all the letters facing the right way

this time


as best I can I draw her

chalk blue eyes

chalk pink cheeks

chalk yellow hair that curls and twists and spirals toward the grass

thirty summers and here I am


I feel a cold finger moving up my back

I sense the sun slip behind a cloud

I send a wish somewhere but it is returned to me

in the first of a flood of raindrops

and we are running


we watch from her bedroom window

as the rain undoes it all

“We worked so hard Dad!”

            “I know”

“Look! I am disappearing!”


then she is sobbing into my chest

gulping sobs of salt and sorrow

I stroke her back as the rain falls

in her, in me



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