Ephemera

The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle
Snow-covered trees, snowflakes on your face

You stand and look at your first snow angel 
Walking out into the field at dusk and

Experiencing firefly magic the first time
Giddy anxiousness keeping you awake

Wondering what Santa was bringing you
The perfect rock, the perfect throw

It skips across the water…finally
Knowing with the utmost certainty 

That you were meant to be a firefighter 
That tv show you watched with grandma

As a child, her laughter was the best sound
The cool night breeze off of the bay and

The best fireworks you’d ever seen
Sneaking around the grownups stealthily

Slurping the foam off their drinks until dizzy
A sunburn, the pain, the sleepless nights

The skin sloughing off in strips
Jr. High warm-belly-feeling from friends

Relaying info that your crush likes you too
That first self-induced, full-body-orgasm

Lightening in your veins…did I break it?
Bagged groceries all week with your best smile

The owner hands you your first check
Approaching high school graduation 

The feeling that the world was yours
Your hands grip the steering wheel 

You drive off the lot in your brand new car
You walk up to the counter, fingers touch glass

You ask where the engagement rings are
Filling out paperwork at HR

Five percent you put into a 401K…for the future
You keep the indicator covered by your hand

So you both can see if it’s positive together 
The Rent-A-Center salesperson 

Greets you with a smile and calls you Sir/Ma’am
Sitting across the desk, little arrow stickers

You initial for the 100th time…homeowner 
You place the beer on the counter

They take your money and don’t ID you
You hear a couple punk kids laughing

Your muffin-top the punchline, you’re Teflon
You let a bright-faced salesperson in 

You sign up for supplemental life insurance
You order a do-it-yourself kit

Catalog everything and make a will
A twenty-something smiles at you at the store

They move their cart and let you cut in line
Your manager gives you a little box

Inside is a pin commemorating your retirement 
The family reunion you have the place of honor

As the oldest in your family
All your loved ones eagerly visit you

As you lie in a hospital bed
You feel an immense amount of weight lifted off

Then nothingness
In the distance you see a light

A doctor pulls you out and cleans you up
The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle…

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