One Time, One Summer

Cinema Strange

She phoned. We rush through milk and mush. We laugh, make swords from old tree-house boards.

Outside, there's Fred and his sister, two sets of twins. We've got skinned knees, unusual stones, and lately, him.

His buttons are coins from faraway archipelagos. He winks; our slingshots hurl screams and tiny things with wings!

Hanging dripping shirts and sheets, a washerwoman hears our feet a-stomping by and when we cry, "Midsummer's here!" she blinks each eye. And then we sing the song he taught; we buzz like bees and howl a lot! She withers into five years old; hands on hips, her stance is bold! She joins our marching army, laughing, waves a stick, afraid of nothing!

And he's fun to follow! He points and Mary-Ann's grown a tail! And his eyes are gleaming! And Mr. Tucker, there are hoof-prints on your tiles! And he never tires! He could dig to China hunting worms! And he chats with saplings! They laugh and sway, say he speaks archly!

Many wars, many battles by noontime we're hungry! Didn't know, under bark, under stones you can eat those! Many fins, many wings. Many bites, many stings! Didn't know; under petals they'll tell tales 'ere the flowers fold!

And on towards night his beard turns white, his eyes are dull and he says, "My voice is a cobweb wisp; we're a toe towards snow but I'll live again."