We waited in the garage’s hot summer dampness
for the storm’s end, stood beneath eaves
palms stretched to catch the drops,
watched goose flesh shiver-rise
on our thighs until she took my hand.
We ran to the crack in the drive and back.
Then to the mailbox, the sidewalk and soon,
breathless, we stripped off our white socks
ran through the rain, each trip farther,
thin summer blouses pressed translucent
to our chests, hair stuck to our cheeks
and all of this before we knew
enough to cross our legs at the knee,
touch our lipstick after a meal,
before we knew that damp musty heat
smelled like afternoon sex.
That day our bare feet carried us
to our last un-umbrellaed touch of rain.
Author’s Comment: I grew up in the suburbs and am often critical of that life. Maybe I’m trying not to be a cookie-cutter person who lived in a house with shag carpet and dark paneling like everyone else, but maybe we are always part of the landscape from which we come. This poem comes from that life, about how growing up happened there.
Bio: Marissa McNamara frequently utters faux pas and bad puns. She writes poetry because she wants to make art with words. Marissa lives in Atlanta with three geriatric dogs and one boyfriend, and she tries to teach English. Her work has appeared in various publications including RATTLE, StorySouth, and Future Cycle.
Wonderful poem! So many great, intense images.
Thank you so much. This one has been in my computer being rewritten for years. I finally just gave it a chance.
I love the images I see here. It’s the innocence of childhood, the uncensored fun, and the free memories of childhood.