sticky fingers swipe sugar syrup onto my sparkly shirt.
I scream outrage,
your peach fuzz face glistening
as the bruised fruit flesh littering the alleyway
of leaves we dally down.
there’s nothing like the August heat,
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
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