Summer for me is this:
Kick the Can in the dusk around “the warehouse”… an old house abandoned house across the street with a grassy lot in front and gravelled alley out back.
“Everybody OUTSIDE!” … the sound of my mother’s voice above everything, sending us to where we first were reluctant, but, after, were always happiest.
The stretch and screeeech of the spring-loaded screen door.
And my mother’s voice again, to my father — “Should we close up?” — the words hardly moving in the thick soup of afternoon heat. Dad nods, goes to the thermostat he installed himself and we all help close the windows: throuwwhp, throuwwhp.
Later, through the screen in passing, I stop and look out. Dad sits almost perfectly still on the front stoop, smoke breathing from the end of his cigar. The air is lavender blue: a green maple tree to his left, the purple maple tree to his right. He knocks off the ash and and streaks of red sky at night deepen against the bruising sky.
I finish carrying the laundry upstairs. Mom is calling again. “Beth! Hurry up!”
Summer: the song of my mother and stillness of my father.
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