Sizzling summer nights
Cooled by a slight breeze
Dancing through the air.
The drive up to the custard stand is
Filled with discussion of flavors.
Sister and I decide to get both,
The decision will please everyone.
Pint of chocolate. Pint of vanilla.
Homemade. Creamy. Delicious.
Excitedly speed home
With the convertible top
on the cherry-red Mustang.
Loud music blares from the stereo as I search for nonexistent stars in the suburban light.
In two minutes the car is parked in the driveway and we’re jumping out.
Search the pantry for gluten-free graham crackers, Hershey chocolate bars and
Marshmallows, the key ingredient.
Get out the bowls! Don’t waste any time!
One for Mom,
Scoop the custard into the bowls. Don’t be shy, fill it up!
We fight over who gets to roast the fluffy white sweets until they are golden brown,
Sister always wins.
I usually set them aflame and then they become a burnt snack for the dogs
to get stuck on the tips of their noses.
She runs off to the bonfire in center of the backyard.
The dogs chase after her, she has food after all.
I stand on the back porch, laughing at her and her limped run.
She’s training for a marathon and sprained her ankle.
Shaking my head,
I crumble gluten-free graham crackers into the custard-filled bowls
And shout to her to hurry,
the bowls begin to get soupy in the summer heat.
Next comes the chocolate.
Three sections of a Hershey bar are allotted for each sundae
And Sister comes back with perfectly brown, still puffy marshmallows.
Two for each sundae.
Sticky fingers spread the white goo
and drape it over the now semi-frozen treat.
Mom complains there isn’t enough Hershey candy on her already chocolate custard.
I add more to mine too.
We are addicted to chocolate.
Dad comes outside to claim his sundae.
We take our seats on the porch and listen to the sounds of summer:
Dogs playing, woofing at cars and kids,
Crickets, or maybe grasshoppers, because none of us really know the difference.
And the sound of spoons scraping the bottom of empty bowls.