We take off down the street, a long string of runners.
Their Keds slap the pavement in a careless rhythm,
plaid skirts flying behind.
The wind whips our hair wildly about as we reach the park,
while naked tree branches wave their arms,
skeletons beckoning the coming storm.
No longer an ordered line, kids spread out, each on their own path
over hills, between trees, across grass
mobbing the park.
We reach the Big Lawn and quickly drop water bottles,
shed shoes, socks and extra layers.
Garments litter the sidewalk like broken rules, and we race off in a spontaneous game of tag.
The drying grass tickles our toes and scattered leaves swirl around us,
crunching underfoot and tangling in our hair.
I run even when not pursued,
chase even when not IT.
Collapsing on the grass near the pile of shoes,
I watch clouds broil across an ever darkening sky.
Tomorrow, this will all be stolen by winter’s icy clutch.
But we made the very best,
our last day.