Imprints of youth:
Stretched out on a blanket, stomach packed with homemade ice cream, holding my breath as silver sprinkles explode, dropping tentacle by tentacle into the horizon.
Watching fireflies dodge between sparklers, hearing the distant shouts of other neighborhood children, whooping with delight in answer to their parents’ murmured caution.
Red and white checkers, hot dogs burned at each end, pickle relish, and my aunt’s muddy flip flops discarded half in, half out of the patio door.
Rusted metal slide, holding its own, aging and serene, in the middle of the lake; waiting patiently for the ribbon of hollering kids tromping up its steps.
Pulling at the straps of my swim suit, wincing as they snap against my sunburned shoulders, each one sand-flaked and peeling.
My after-fireworks feet carving rivulets in the dirt as I languished in the backyard swing, too tired to move, too awe-struck to sleep.