A silhouette of a girl. A portrait of a boy. Broken glass in the bottoms of creeks from bottles of coca-cola bought for a dime at the country store. Skinned knees and dirty jeans. Hair caked with dirt and mud from the creek. A swingset, splintered wood and metal slides so hot they’d melt a candle. Mudded sneakers on cracked pavement, running, the sound of drums, background music to lives under four feet high. Crooked smiles, gaps between teeth, bloody noses from pointless fights. Sweat beading on skin, soaking through tee-shirts, sweaty palms gripping handle bars to swing across invisible caverns, pits of lava. Brown braids tied with yellow ribbons, faded and frayed. Games of tag in the cold sunless world of dusk. Faded light brushing faces with light kisses of a mother, sending her children off to bed after they had been cleaned and scrubbed. Fresh and pink, ready for another day. Toes curled against cotton sheets, last minute stories told to help feed the little minds before they drifted off to dream. A secret handshake. A stolen kiss. A borrowed pencil at your desk.
Brown eyes looking into pools of green.
Green eyes looking into pools of brown.
Picnics in the shade. Climbing trees, pretending to be brave. Holding hands on narrow paths, shoulders brushing, knees knocking into the other. Yellow light, red roads. Dust crept in between wiggly toes. Quiet smiles, loud songs ripping through lungs and out of throats, bursting out of small pink mouths. Not caring about the day after tomorrow.
A teary goodbye, a soulful hello. Bone crushing hugs that shook down to your toes. This is childhood.
A capture from my story, Juvenility. It's about childhood and losing people you love, running, leaving home and coming back, trying to sweep up the burned ashes of your life and make it new again. Two people with lives intertwined in a rich history of hot summer days and long nights on highways with the radio blaring. Mostly, it's about living with who you are today, holding your past in your hands like soft soil, and planting seeds for the future in it.