sticky fingers swipe sugar syrup onto my sparkly shirt. 

I scream outrage,

your peach fuzz face glistening

dark 

as the bruised fruit flesh littering the alleyway 

of leaves we dally down. 

there’s nothing like the August heat, 

saturated sunlight

bleaching my hair radiant gold-white. 

your giggles are trapped

in the sweltering soupy air:

woven through the trees

like the peaches in their hair. 

so, I drop the wagon handle

the wagon full of sunsets sweet, 

my responsibility as the oldest to keep. 

I drop the obligate female care

and shriek

my war cry —

grubby fingers tossing peach pits aside

I pound through the orchard,

trying to catch your dusty shins.

you’re just a touch ahead,

you’re blessed with the speed

of a child that didn’t have to grow up so quickly. 

 

By Katelynn Paluch

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