by Lisa

Cicadas sing us out of summer.

Sih-CAY-duh, say you.  Chi-CAH-dah, say we.

The small person runs the neighborhood, free for a little while longer tonight.  She will come home itchy and dirty and happy and then she will climb into the small tub here at the cottage to make a ring that I smile to scrub away, later.  A tub that needs scrubbing tells stories of bike rides and back yards and laughing until she falls down, disassembled by her joy.

I sit by the open screen door and listen to the joy and the cicadas.  In a minute, I’ll get up to wash dishes before she comes in.  The hot water should be ready again in time.

Summer ran short.  I’d planned camping and trips and time away from our familiar place, but then, this familiar place felt like enough.  We didn’t need to leave here, I just needed to let her go a little further into this small neighborhood without me.

And with that, she’s in the door.  The street lights came on.  She’s filling the bathtub because she feels cruddy, claiming starvation and singing songs I don’t know and offering a running monolog of the evening’s freedom.

The dishes can wait.