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the summer I was Junebug
the summer I was Junebug
was spent at Girl Scout Camp in Hardwick
as a CIT.
my counselour smoked Lucky Strikes and other things,
explaining the pervading odor as "campfire."
the summer I was Junebug
fell smack in the middle of
the longest "awkward phase" on record.
my smile newly released from metal wires and brackets,
I was certain that this was finally the year
adolescence would cease its cruelty, and I, at last,
would become a natural beauty:
one of those girls who are stunning without knowing it,
one of those girls you can't help but watch
in your rearview mirror after passing them.
I knew without a doubt that this was the year
I would break in my unkissed lips.

the summer I was Junebug
we sang camp songs in canoes on Lake Wapanaki
I wann linger a little longer
a little longer here with you
it's such a perfect night, it doesn't seem quite right
that this should be my last with you

and laughed and dreamed about boys
who were long as the day and spaghetti thin,
waiting to possess us with their oceansmiles and seaeyes.
the summer I was Junebug
we plotted our double and triple weddings
as we swam within the buoyed area,
appointed bridesmaids and designed dresses for our brand-new lifelong friends.

two months later, I received a letter addressed to "Junebug"
and opened it because I recognized the recipient as myself
but it wasn't my name anymore.
and come September, I will remember
my camping days and friendships true

the autumn came and the boys didn't,
bright afternoons fled and with them
went the easy way I smiled
when surrounded by girls laughing in reflections of one another.
the summer I was Junebug
disappeared as we, singing, doused the campfire for the final time.
and as the years go by
I'll think of you and sigh
this is goodnight and not goodbye.

31 January 2003