Every Other Summer

Walking through metal detectors
over and over throughout the day
with long walks, lugging luggage in between waiting
for the flight to take off—hours from now.
But it takes hours of escalators and maps
to find which and what direction
where and how much time is left
passing time by stopping at McDonald’s and Starbucks
browsing ethnicities and coffee cups,
selecting a souvenir like a Japanese T-shirt
or a Seattle keychain because we’ve never been here
and probably will never come back, at least not soon,

and the time spent together means so much
because at home we have other things to think about
like college and career,
but here, we’re free to fly where we choose.

I don’t mind taking our time, ticking and tocking
in airports from Dayton to Japan.
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,
a journey we can only take in the summer

because every other season is occupied.

about the author
Jaida Sterling  is a student in the Creative Writing magnet at Stivers School for the Arts. She plays softball and enjoys hanging out with friends and family.