Magic Summer

Adults sit on folding lawn chairs
set in a circle around a fire along
the south bank of the Rock River.
Their laughter, the cicada buzz
and the occasional boat throttling
mixed with children shouts 
from joyful jumps off the dock 
into the water create summer 
for me in my mind.

But not until Grandpa poured 
his Old Style into a clear, tall glass; 
not until he handed me the salt shaker 
to tap a few times into the foam;
not until the salt settling at the bottom 
began to work the magic of bubbles in beer;
not until I saw alchemy before my very eyes
was I then free to run and leap into water
endlessly flowing by the party.

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