Lounging on the patio,
feet up, fan snarling at beads of sweat
that threaten to tickle my scalp,
I watch them:
Sunbaked Siblings sweat
testosterone rivalry as they slip
and slide into the pool
and each other.
Shrill laughter darts in
and around the jumble of gleeful voices.
The fanís hot breath chases
escaping tendrils of hair. They sting
my cheeks and eyes in retreat.
Panting dogs circle the pool
and me in search of relief, or liquid, or
the simple need to round up the straggly pack.
A purple umbrella shelters me
from the insistent glare of a probing sun
as listless ice cubes sink into the tepid sea
of lemonade. It sweetly beckons a buzzing fly
as I watch through the streamers across my eyes.
And so begin the days of heat and sweat,
the endless hours of water fights, water guns, sticky hands,
stinging flies and eyes. Ushered in by sun-screened boys
a wave of summer joy douses my desire for snowflakes,
dampens my lingering dream of frostbitten breath and tongues of firelight.
My sigh is lost in a gurgle, choked-off by a well-aimed stream of little boy glee.
Pam Patterson © Summer 2003