Bikini tops & flip flops
replaced bras & high heels.
It was the season for hair up
& windows down,
of ice cream melting,
of long, lemonade days
& twilight walks;
of eating on back patios,
& drinking sweet tea on front porches.
It was gardenias releasing their perfume,
of honey suckling & berry picking,
& small, plump hands stained purple.
It was running barefoot in the backyard,
& laying below a spinning ceiling fan,
cutting through summer’s rhapsody.
Lara always missed the first 5 minutes of breakfast,
only to add 5 decades to her life.
She procrastinated death like she did everything else,
letting others pick up her slack,
so that when death did come,
it was not a surprise.
Her father walked the party line,
her mother, the line her husband drew for her,
but she drew the line she walked,
where others followed,
but none led.
Her life was one of improvisation—
of the kind of spontaneity that,
unlike planned events,
made the event itself,
not the planning,
They’d known one another since elementary school,
sharing the same friends.
When they reconnected in college,
they shared the same family,
for they became one,
for each other,
When she was 6,
she wanted to be lucky 7.
When she was 12,
she wanted to be 16—
to be trusted with a car.
When she was 16,
she wanted to be 18—
to be trusted to serve.
When she was 18,
she wanted to be 21—
to be trusted to be served.
When she turned 30,
she wanted to be 29 forever,
though life just kept getting better,
for the more she knew,
the more she could do.
And when she was 35,
she had the baby that made her
want to be 6 again.
Without invitations or reservations,
she attended weddings & funerals,
congratulating & consoling,
for to her,
half of life (or death)
was just showing up.