When I was younger I would feel the passing of summer.
It would hit me hard in the chest,
the anticipation of a midwest winter.
The absence of leaves on the trees.
No sunlight dappling through green things,
filtering onto the pages of a book.
There was a moment somewhere in July
where we lived in the very center of summer's heart.
It was golden and hot and so sweet.
It was abundant and safe and ripe.
Anything was possible.
I would run the high school track just to feel the night air on my skin,
just to feel so suburban-kid-free.
There were still a few fireflies. The grass was still green
and thunderstorms rolled in with little warning
and a thick black sky.
And then in a moment nature tipped toward autumn
and the cicadas sang their harsh song
and my own stomach sank
with thoughts of school, with the foreverness of youth.
I didn't know yet what it was to be older,
I didn't know California
or the western United States.
I just knew I'd been kicked out of paradise,
same as last year.
And the year before.
The Heart of Summer had fallen off the vine,
too ripe to hold on.
The grass went brown.
The drying season drained the sap out of everything.
I wish I could show little Allison this belt.
I wish I could tell her that someday she would be a magician.
That she would take a medium
and a prayer
and with a lot of work
and SO much love
re-animate that very thing that hurt so much to lose.
This is for the woman whose own heart breaks in August
and rises like Persephone in March
when the crocus pops through the snow
with a stubborn vitality.
From Little Allison and Big Sunny both.
(Fits a 29 + inch waist.)