Can I Sit with You?


Summer Before Second Grade

Gerard Sarnat MD
Age 6 at the time

Outside home, digging rich loam coated with city block soot,
I notice a carrot-topped frecklyface
against the inky flaming sunset.

Auburn, fair, and more than a bit stippled myself;
fingernails chock full of dirt;
uncertain why; I leave the boys to move my bones closer.

At first I circle in, pursuing nearer and nearer until I just
plop down beside the new girl.

Never before thusly stirred to thrust my body,
the world mocking me, a bushel of apples
crushing a soft tomato.

Still — eventually gathering steely courage,
not sure what I’m doing –before I know it, I lean over
and at the tender age of six, cannot resist the bliss,
plant my first non-family kiss in our neighborly wading pool.

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