A toast

Here’s to a summer
Like the summer
Of the girl I saw
A few days back,
Making her way downtown
(As the song goes).

Maybe fourteen years old,
She moved slowly down the sidewalk
With a friend, both in sandals and yoga pants.
They walked with enough determination
That I knew there was a destination somewhere;
But, the pace was slow, too,
Sunny summer strolling,
With cares to match the clouds
Which is to say…
No clouds. No cares.

And her hair was braided
Into two long tails
Down both sides of her head,
Divided straight down the spine,
Plaited carefully.

But it looked like the parting and plaiting
Had taken place
Maybe much earlier.
Maybe a day or so earlier,
And then they were slept in
And worn again
And repeat.

There she was,
Walking towards downtown,
In comfy pants,
With a friend,
Casually and confidently,
With her hair frizzling out of her braids
Out from her scalp
Out around her ears and nape and part.

Pippi Longstocking in my own hometown.
I looked at her in wonder.
A woman who knows how to summer well.
Would that our hair be equally prioritized
Beneath sunshine and friendship and meandering walks around town.

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