Stone Angel

It’s almost 9, the sun faded out, and the floodlights for the park’s basketball courts have come on.

Lindsay and I are playing pick up one on one games. She has her lucky sneakers and Maryville Scots jersey.

All evening we’ve been playing, the courts ours on a lazy August Sunday, last day before the college grind.

She is exuberant and powerful, with a sly and taunting smile on her lips, the wild cat taunting it’s rival.

And once more, like that wild cat, she is light and speed, past me to sink the easy bucket.

She’s been dominating me all day, but I’m glad for the time and the fun, the last summer day as we’ve known it.

Now 10, we ride on her second hand and worse for wear Vespa to get iced teas and burgers.

Sitting outside, even among the choking humidity and hungry insects, I focus all on her, as she talks of her future.

I’ve always been the tag along. I am a rose vine, she the lattice on which I’ve grown.

Her grace and strength, reminds of the stone angels in the graveyard where I go to be alone.

Among the stillness of memory and loss, I walk with my fraying hopes that she’ll fall in love with me.

She talks of making the Scots basketball team, and her hopes of a pro career, the degree she’ll be studying for.

I listen, knowing she’s leaving me behind. I’ll be at MC too, but now Pluto instead of the moon in her orbit.

On the ride to take me home, I squeeze her close, rest my head against her back, and enjoy this last magic.

She hugs me goodbye, and, standing at the front door, I watch her ride into the night.

And now, I must find a new way to grow.

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