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Kelly Sue White – River Summer

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Kelly Sue White

River Summer

 

The days of slow flow river time, canoe banked on a sandy spit, the kids- their bathing suit bellies full of cherries in ankle deep water. Little red fingers grabbed at sunlight. Fists full of river silt, coppertone and paw paws heavy heady hanging down. Already some dropped, sandy sugar rot swarmed with flies and ferment. Remember? Remember – I made us necklaces of silver and a single shark tooth. We strung that summer on sterling, fishing line, on river rock, Coors Light cans and white wine from a box, buzzed up sunlight river float, boats and life vests and all six of us we made it

home. Those little barefoot feet across your backyard, cut grass clung to still-river-wet toes – god – those little feet marks on the wood floor, through the kitchen, down the hall. Wet towels in heaps. Kids landslide on the sofa with popcorn and a movie and lights out and you and I. In the pool, once they were asleep, you and I skinny dipping in the cool you and I in the summer. Every other weekend like that. Towels left for fester with the tracked in toe grass, river silt, until tomorrow or Monday or some day in autumn. Those days we wore the river all summer, brackish and feral.

 


Kelly Sue White is a poet, recovery advocate, artist and mom. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her two kids and her partner, Dave, two dogs, a fish, and a Guinea Pig. Kelly’s work was published in Mosaic, and others forthcoming. After 24 years of starts and stops, she graduated in 2020 from the University of Virginia. She is in the MFA program at Randolph College, just beginning her publication journey.

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