Little Summer

Elizabeth Maloney, Winner of the Morristown Book Festival Contest

Little Summer


My brother and I would waste away 

Our summer days,

Kicking our socks off

And lying back

On creaky wicker rocking chairs 

Draining the color from rocket popsicles

Until our lips were stained with purple. 


“Go outside!” My mother would say, 

And resigned, we would go

Out into the great wild world

Of one dead end road

And one babbling brook

And one towering oak, crying out with the many voices of cicadas

Ablaze in the stifling summer sun. 


Her warm breeze carried scents 

Of basketball rubber, 

Onion grass, 

Black tops baking in the heat,

Orange peels and lemonade on the kitchen counter. 

A time when ankles were red and scabbed from razor scooters,

And white sneakers kicked up rust colored dust on the baseball diamond. 


I parade my embroidered pockets down the sidewalk, 

Now dyed green from blades of grass,

I don my regal crown of daisy chains,

Plucked from a wildflower garden.

A time when imagination overflowed

Like the golden fountains of honeysuckle dew

Somewhere on the edge of what is real

And what is just a dream.