Dunking and splashing
In water ruby-stained with iron ore.
We were mermaids: at home with fish and turtle.
Flaxen streaks amidst brunette honed to honey-hues
Cascading on shoulders burnished brown
From the chrome-hot sun.
Running, running, laughing, laughing;
Our heels hitting hard on pebbles, red clay squishing.
Only sand burrs finding hidden tender skin between toes
Or the quick grab of briar on bare arms slow the fun of hide-n-seek.
Steep-sided gullies carved by ravaging tributaries, trees and
Tall native prairie grasses provide haven. Shh!
Listen for that final count of fifty and
The approach of seeker’s feet.
The caress of summer breezes
While being lulled to sleep on beaches
Of the southern rocks or northern pink sands
That form the complicated puzzle-piece border
Of the Red River dammed and brimming –
All under the careful watch of
The man in the moon.
As the perfume of the honeysuckle-laden air
And as gentle as the rich waters
In which we eagerly swam.
Inspired by my sis,
With whom I shared these moments and years.