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Corryn Pettingill

          The sun is at its peak as Trinity and I prance around the sprinklers of my small front yard, laughing as the cold water hits our bare legs. It is a refreshing respite from the day’s tickling heat. It leads into a warm night where the sky feels open and endless, the stars infinite and marvelous. Our days are as free as the crows that hop along the telephone wires above our heads, cocking their heads down at the two children that run and play in the soggy green grass. The blades cling in between the crevices of my toes and kick up into the air as I attempt a cartwheel, submitting my upper torso to the spray of the sprinkler for the smallest moment before clambering away from the water. Trinity taps my shoulder and races across her driveway into her yard, avoiding my touch as I hop along her spiky dead lawn. I cringe and run back to mine, avoiding the pain on the other side of the pavement.
          Hose water washes away the grass that sticks to my legs, but the blades that don’t slide away leave itchy welts and a scratchy throat. I rinse it all away, for now, not thinking about it as I continue to play. Trinity’s long, black hair whips around in a blaze as we scour the boundaries of our two properties and roam around its premises, knowing two very important things: never run into the street, and fear the ice cream truck as it passes by. We could just imagine an evil man, deviously sitting behind the wheel searching lawns for small prey. The tales of an evil ice cream man kidnapping children told by our parents remain vivid in our minds, therefore we hide behind the wheels of our car as people pass, but scream with joy as we splash into the spongy lawn.
           “Olly olly oxen free!” I say as I grasp the predetermined neutral zone of the stair railing. I am safe, for now.
          Twilight arises and we play tag for the last time before heading inside, the closure of our childhood creeping nearer. It isn’t long before we fall out of rhythm, our schedules never matching and the sun setting sooner in the day as winter arrives. I hardly wave goodbye before Trinity’s family pack up all of their belongings into cardboard boxes and move to the other side of the city, making our front lawn turn into a simple square of grass. The evenings that previously welcomed laughter are now left reserved for homework. Rain comes and washes away the chalk and the biting snow hardens the earth, but the crows stay. They stay and they watch as twilight opens the window of the past.
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