Do you want to know what it’s like out tonight?
I could tell you that the sun has just gone down,
That the sky is streaked with pink clouds,
That the air is warm and sweet with the smell of honeysuckle
And a cool, gentle breeze is stirring the trees.

I could tell you that.
But that’s not what it’s really like, I know.
It’s really like
Sitting on the grass atop a small carpet square
In an oversized camp T-shirt and my sister’s hand-me-down shorts
With long, tangled hair hanging down to the middle of my back
And mosquito bites all over
And dirt under the edges of my white crew socks,
Watching fireflies flicker in the dusk.
Along with fifty other Girl Scouts,
I’m waiting for the movie to start;
It will probably be “Mary Poppins” again
But that’s fine.

Tonight it’s like being nine again.

If I told you that,
Would you laugh and shake your head
And think that I’ve never really grown up?

Or would you maybe tell me about
Lying in a tent out under the stars,
Your head on a squeaky plastic camp pillow,
With skateboarding scabs on your skinny brown legs
And mosquito bites all over
Listening to the chirping tree frogs
And plotting how you might catch one?

(2nd Place, Poetry, Atlanta Writers Club Spring 2014 Contest)