Spring to Summer

The changing of the seasons, illustrated

The forget-me-nots shaded out by the side of the road stretch long and stringy, grow closer to me.

Spring was cool and full of swim practices and long grassy lounging on soccer fields streaming with six-year-olds. The light came back in the morning and it’s bright by 5:30. I wake and walk Martina, the dog we picked up from the shelter who is not bad and not good. She is little. The chipmunks follow us around and I’ve got mouthpieces of ticks in my ankle, side, and back of knee, a constellation of small irritations.

Outside everything is green and the grass is full of vole holes. The dog sticks her snout in and breathes hard. I pluck the buttercups.

School is nearly finished and the open jaws of summer await. We could be devoured by vines. We could disappear beneath the hum of strimmers. The snakes are hiding with their babies in the grass.

In the forest, the ferns grow up straight stick green, feather out and bow.

We come back inside and dash the kids through breakfast. The eight-year-old scribbles into a notebook. Pink begets black as a favorite color. Elsa begets Rey. The letter forms are uneven and irregular like gravel. The words still speak of fairies, with intermittent school gossip and stick figures doing cartwheels and handstands.

On the way out the door she falls back hands extended and catches the ground without seeing it. Feet fly up to the sky, though they still need a boost. Summer is reaching up toes first.

Amy Jean Porter is an artist who lives in Connecticut. She illustrated the forthcoming book The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes edited by Natalie Eve Garrett (powerHouse Books, Fall 2016).