What I want to be when I grow up

And the sun was like it is today
the warmth of it, the egg-yolk-yellow
of it in everything. It ran hot along
the smalls of our backs,
costumes chafing where elastic greeted skin.
A princess and a butterfly
sat hunched
in the yard, my sister and I had our heads together,
hers blonde and floating, mine darker, touching,
conspiratorial and absorbed
breaking twigs and pulling grass
like hair from the ground
out of bright, brilliant
boredom in our party dresses. The gravel
in the old school playground
crunched under shined patent shoes,
lace-trimmed socks flirting with the dirt;
we crouched and squinted, grazed knees wide,
compared wounds, white scratches on red,
grazed palms too on the large stone by the gate
torched by the late-afternoon sun;
revived, we ran.

The egg-yolk-yellow was in the paint of my wings too,
butterfly eyes, black dots
near the tips at the top. My dad
strapped them enthusiastically to my back
that day,
where the boys were too wild
and my dad, used to girls
was often overwhelmed by the small, but mutinous crowd
during musical chairs or tag or games.
I remember the weight
of those wings
in the heat
and the scratching of crepe paper and easter egg foil,
purple dots on silver,
tickling through.
I stood on the high wall by the field
by the house
and bricks crumbling underfoot
I jumped,
the sun in that too,
hoping to fly
and tumbling into the green unseen.


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