Summer Boys

We were like a Jon Hughes film.
I was the shy kiddie counselor,
who read books in the woods on my break.
He was the lifeguard, who always seemed to be on break.
We passed each other along the dirt paths for years,
until he saw me.

The quiet girl found flowers on her bus seat,
the blushing girl was serenaded by 10 year old boys,
she was passed notes from jealous friends.
She was wooed by the beautiful lifeguard.

The summer was salty flesh and campfires.
Wet swimming suits and itchy hay bails.
Voted king and queen of Camp Manitou,
we reigned with our flower crowns.
It was the summer every girl should have,
like one of those extra thick special editions of Sweet Valley High.

I became someone desired, someone confident in her freckled skin,
and yes, someone loved, in that taffy sweet, first love way.
We etched our names into the picnic table at the beach,
traded mixed tapes and beaded necklaces,
preparing for fall.

After her summer with the lifeguard,
the shy girl’s romance came to an end.
In her heart, it was the epic death of all that was good in the world.
In reality, it was a new quiet beauty at his homecoming dance.

But, this girl learns quick.
Beautiful boys love a sweet, bookish challenge.
By the time the lake water was warm enough to swim,
I was making eyes at the next of many tan summer boys.

As I swim away the last days of this Indian summer,
some 15 years later,
I am warmed by the brown sugar memories.
I close my eyes and I am that bikini clad girl being thrown off the dock,
for a few fleeting seconds, I am still queen of Camp Manitou.


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