Watery waves above seared asphalt,
I wonder how long we’re to bare this
inferno, this burden. How did we get here?
Summers of long ago were built for mindless
laughter, and the splashing of dirty tiny feet.
We ventured out at 8 am and surveyed the wild
hills behind us, be they made of concrete or granite.
Under the paramount of 80 degree palm trees
We dined on the likes of Pop Rocks, Coke, pickles and
America’s Best, Project Kool-Aid. Why did we leave?
Roads warped and lawns parched, we huddle now
in vacant spaces, too hot to touch, leemealone. The
tile is cool and the AC struggles to hum, but for how long?
One August I fell in love with Leonard. That was me,
hair feathered and free, body stuffed in a flat tank top
and daisy dukes. I only watered the grass every day at
2 o’clock; the time he came home from hoopin’ at the park.
He was enamored with my 12 year-old frame I’m certain.
Four grandmas fell in thirty days due to century heat
beating their ages. Budget cuts closed one city pool but
dilapidated, who’d walk barefoot to its watering hole anyway?
June ’91 sparked the summer of free beginnings.
Boyz N the Hood made Crenshaw a tourist spot and
we were okay with it; we were 20, dreams aplenty, and
days of the week spawned one long water filled weekend.
Newly on the verge of making count, we believed we
were invincible. In a year we’d elect a sax-playing President.
104° in Dallas and kids remain house hostages ransacking our nerves.
Senators ransom both college funds and Grandmas’ prescriptions.
My how we’ve changed over this 21st Century Summer.
©Asani Charles 8/1/2011