Summer 1982

the humidity
is a hot sticky blanket
wrapped around me

draped over my shoulders
and turning my t-shirt
with the iron-on
star trek: the motion picture
to a soaking wet rag

the air rushing
past my face
at least tries to cool me

I am flying
on a steel frame
built of two wheels, freedom
flashy paint
and entirely powered
by my pumping 10-year-old legs

on this bicycle
I understand
what autonomy means

around me rides
the other members
of my posse
we are all rugged explorers
outfitted in Adidas and Converse
we are fearless

I have no starship but
I am William Shatner
no red cape, but I am Christopher Reeve

our kingdom
lies between
4 major intersections
the stop-lights
are border guards
the lands beyond are forbidden

We knights
patrol our territory
always hoping to find dragons

in a few hours
our pockets are lined
with deadly ammunition
of the china ball tree
tallow seeds are missiles fired
between our two-wheeled jet fighters

old men on porches
will shake their fists and holler
when our weapons misfire

and in the evening
we will feast
on the food of the gods
sticky colored syrup
over shaved ice
white plastic spoons in styrofoam cups

then we’ll ride home
amid a chorus
of cicadas

We’ll sit upon
the back porch
and listen to that
radioshack transistor radio
and I’ll steal glances
at my best friend’s sister

She is 15
and she doesn’t
even know I exist

But I’ll smile
to myself
as she moves from
the garage to the house
with the laundry
screen door banging loudly

and I’ll pretend
she isn’t the most beautiful
creature I’ve ever seen

I’ll silently pray that the street light
in front of my house
has burned out
no reason for me
to be called home
by shouts or whistles

and I can stay here, forever

About Eric

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26 Responses to Summer 1982

  1. Meghan Tregellis says:

    Oh those were the days! Outside all day everyday. Makes me nostalgic. What a lovely reminisce! ❤️

  2. my valiant soul says:

    The imagery is powerful.Loved the emotion depicted.

  3. Ah, to be 10 and a Prince of Summer… Well done, brother!

  4. Rita says:

    Awesome! Truly love this ❤️

  5. augustmacgregor says:

    A great capture of some of the many wonders of summer. Thanks for inspiring me to remember my childhood’s summer days. They swung from fantastic times to doldrums. And had food of the gods — I love that description. I’ll add ice cream and watermelon and peaches to that list.

  6. This delighted me Eric! You paint a moment of youth so beautifully and resonantly. I could taste the shaved ice and feel the languor that comes with seemingly endless summer days when we ran free.

  7. I am in love with this. You knew I would be, I think. Oh, man, the intense beauty of a childhood summer day (and night), the imagination, the wish that street lights wouldn’t pop on for another hour or two… #mast 💙

    • Eric says:

      Yes, I knew you’d be fond of this one. It is very Sarahesque in it’s story telling I think. Thank you so much for visiting me today my dear friend. Your visit has made me very happy! ❤ #mast

  8. Takes me back to a carefree time.

  9. Such beautiful images of this young boy! I remember my own bike, I clothes pinned a card to the spokes to make a great sound… I was such a tomboy! 🙂 Fabulous nostalgia Eric ❤

  10. Emily says:

    Oh, this is so fantastic! Just a perfect trip down memory lane. The days before technology changed childhood. Wonderful, Eric!

  11. Purpleanais says:

    Love this SO MUCH! ❤

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