J. T. Ledbetter

(Greenville, Illinois)

She skips down the street
and across the Court House lawn
to Bridey’s Café where new ice cream
has been seen in the cold round tubs.
She is not late for school because it is
and a dollar is in her pocket.

After she has licked it down and into
the cone she walks slowly around the square
looking at dresses she will wear. But not now
because as of noon today it is officially
and she’s wearing cool shorts: no flowers.

When at last she climbs the stairs to bed
she writes to her cousin in California
telling her she might or might not be
in love and that she will know by the end of
because that’s when boys forget you.

But lots of things can happen in three months
of ice cream and confessing deep thoughts
to her diary. She has been promised she can raise
a calf. She will love it and care for it and teach it to drink
from a bucket and pull down the sweet hay
for her—it will be a her—and she will name it
for the days are warm and long—and hers!



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