The faded photograph
now held in a pewter antique frame,
is all I have left of that summer of 1982.
You are standing next to
your new red bicycle
with a melting popsicle in your hand.
Earlier that day we splashed our way
though neighbourhood puddles.
climbed stately maples
our feet caked with drying mud.
On limber legs we peddled our
bikes up the steep hills just for fun.
Our faces flushed with
we ran and did cartwheels
across the front yard.
Dusty sunbeams splattered
our cheeks with freckles.
We gathered summer’s ripeness
with gleeful hearts.
That would be the last summer
that you were able to run with me
gathering childhood dreams.
That fall when the leaves rustled
and the rain came pouring down
our lives would be changed forever.
I still see you lying beside that
crumpled red bike and some old man
trying to explain he really hadn’t
had that much to drink.
So many lives changed in one minute
and one bad decision.