I once knew a girl who

chased fireflies all summer long,

fished off a dock overlooking a pond glittering in sunlinght,

and sat in the shade sipping sweet tea while she counted train cars passing by her grandpa’s garage.

She leisurely dreamed of bigger things

and read and studied and worked to outgrow her dead end street.

She slept with her windows open and lamp on

and usually went to bed after “just one more page” had turned into fifty or a hundred.

Now

she dyes her hair to hide those growing gray and silvery in the sunlight,

treasures snow days so she can spend time with her children without the clock ticking off unmet responsibilities,

and appreciates books that allow her to accidentally swallow them whole.

Too few of them exist.

The time is gone.

The girl is too.

Mentor text: “I once Knew a Girl” by Nora Bradford