summers were for running

She ran with the boys
through pine woods and
stubborn palmettoes,

building forts of sand
and hijacked lumber,

laughing her cares
into other skies. She
had no place for unripped
dresses and flawless

complexions, no desire
for baby doll tea parties
and made up faces–
not when grass and dirt
stains were available.

Her mother muttered
warnings that the boys
would grow up and
look to prettier girls
in curled up lashes

and glossy lips
for Friday night dates.

But she just laughed
at the woman, enjoying
the misplaced displeasure,

and ran back to her
friends with wide mouth
grins and fresh-baked
cookies. She had no
room for foolish futures–

she knew that Florida
summers were for running
and excited-eye
explorations while
you were still young.