summer writing

Los Angeles, 1988

Green dish soap swiped off the cracked white tile
counter was Dad’s genius answer to our pleas of
 faster, faster! The Slip ’N Slide, a runway of plastic
stretched across our yard and (with permission) onto the
neighbor’s.  A beautifully perfect green lawn that made Dad
shake his head on several occasions. Water from the hose
made the yellow contraption work well-enough in July,
but we wanted more.  We were free,
we wanted to fly. Just a few drops from the bottle
and Dad’s cockamamie scheme sent our summer
browned bodies rocketing across the two lawns. With reckless
abandon we threw ourselves over and over again,
only Dad’s cautions about the approaching sidewalk, louder than
our squeals of delight. Ours was a city of cement and right
angles, neighborhoods basted in perfect patchwork quilts, tiny
squares of real estate stitched together, every inch
exploited and accounted for. We dreamed of huge
backyards, settling instead for the sun-warmed hose
water out of the sprinkler, taking turns leaping through the umbrella
of mist—our imaginations filling in the small spaces with fat
cavernous swimming pools and yards wide
enough to keep us safe from skinned knees. 

© Ilene, 2011

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