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          Nights It Was Too Hot to Stay in the Apartment
          By Lyn Lifshin

          We drove to the lake, then stopped
          at my grandmother's. The grownups
          sat in the screened porch on wicker
          or the glider whispering above the
          clink of ice in wet glass. Spirea and
          yellow roses circled the earth under
          stars. A silver apple moon. Bored
          and still sweaty, my sister and I
          wanted to sleep out on the lawn
          and dragged out our uncle's army
          blankets and chairs for a tent. We
          wanted the stars on our skin, the
          small green apples to hang over
          the blanket to protect us from bats.
          From the straw mats, peonies glowed
          like planets and if there was a breeze,
          it was roses and sweat. I wanted
          our white cats under the olive green
          with us, their tongues snapping up
          moths and whatever buzzed thru the
          clover. For an hour the porch
          seemed miles away until itchy with
          bug bites and feeling our shirts fill
          with night air, my hair grow curlier,
          our mother came to fold up the blankets
          and chairs and I wished I was old
          enough to stay alone until dawn or
          small enough to be scooped up, asleep
          in arms that would carry me up the
          still hot apartment stairs and into
          sheets I wouldn't know were still
          warm until morning

          © Copyright 2004, Lyn Lifshin, All Rights Reserved.

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Document last modified on: 09/28/2004

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