Child of Summer

Kalyan George

Beads of sweat adorned my forehead;
Coalescing into a torrent, lifting the veils that separated
My starry eyed dreams and the world
The nights were slowly, but surely getting shorter, I realised
As I cursed the wretched awakening power of the heat.

Strolling down the sidewalk, clad in a suit
The sound of a thud, a puff of dust, a choir of giggles
‘Sorry, Sir.’
Their voices full of glee, mirth, lightly tinted with apology
The gang of boys kicked their ball down the street
Leaving behind an irate man and a brown imprint.

Standing in front of the mirror
Brushing the remains of the ball’s fingerprints
My mind wandered, to days long gone,
Of memories buried deep within
Of the blessed time of my childhood.

As the days would get longer,
Barriers would suddenly disappear
The boys from mansions and from the streets
The girls from palaces and from the huts
Devoid of responsibilities, of schedules, of differences
Would come together as one
For then, we became family.

We would roam the streets
Kicking a ball, scrapping away for the winning goal
Regardless of shoes and bare feet
We would watch the waves crash,
As we ran across the golden shores
Regardless of shoes and bare feet
Giving our best innocent glances, full of longing
Charming a free cone of ice-cream from the old vendor
Sharing it, making sure everyone had a lick of the good stuff
We would watch the horizon swallow
The blazing sphere of fire
Against the backdrop of the God’s own canvas
A multitude of colours dancing in flawless serenity
It was then, as children, we would believe:
That this was heaven's cameo on earth.

I wondered:
Have the countless cycles of nature’s change
Made us creatures of routine
Numbing our senses, our ability to care for our fellow men
Distorting the ways of the old summer days?
Has Father Time robbed us?
Has the fragrance of flowers and new life
Or the bite of the cold winds and icy snow
Erected walls amongst us, the jewels of all creation?

Closing my eyes,
An earnest prayer of longing from a tired, old, guilty man
With words of a bygone era;
‘Hasten, season of change.
Come thou with flaming fire.
Melt my rigid heart, so as to feel.
Breathe thy hot air into my soul; ignite.
Hasten, summer
For only thee can make me feel like a child again
Maybe then, can I be human
Only then shall I be free.’

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