Blue-Green Girlhood

by Sondra Hall

Lying on my back, summer, in my suburban backyard staring at the cerulean sky
its parade of clouds,

grass prickly around my ankles, wind billowing
the folds in my blue-green top, skinny shoulder straps tied in bows.

my father’s using the garden hose to spray
his roses, the curl of its snaking green body pulled taut.

It’s June and school’s out. He’s home earlier than usual from the hospital
tending to his roses like patients.

Summer itself smells blue-green, feels wide, like the wingspan
of the giant black crows whose bodies come to rest on the telephone poles.

It’s a crowd of insects, the clink of ice in tall glasses, the tinny melody
announcing the ice cream truck’s arrival after sundown.

Tonight I will sit on his lap while my father reads to me,
a raft of fireflies winking outside my bedroom window

shimmering blue-green summer behind my eyelids
closing like curtains to the good night.

Sondra Hall began putting poems to paper back when she was in pigtails. Later, her love of words led her to start a creative writing program for kids called “Take My Word For It!” that sparked their imaginations for thirteen years. A recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay area to Asheville, she lives with her musician husband and curly-headed dog.