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First Morning In Sarasota

Waking up to walk out onto the narrow balcony 

in my p.j.s with only flips flops on my feet

and a Nespresso in my hand.


Meeting air warmer and heavier 

Than the thin, cool air conditioning of our Florida suite.

Feeling sun so domineering I shield my eyes from its brilliance

as palm trees shimmer from a persistent breeze.


Hearing the incessant beeping of a bulldozer backing up

and the erratic drilling of ambitious high-rise building

layered over the honking and humming of morning rush hour traffic.


Slowly dislodging the long, dark nightmare of Minnesota winter, 

a freezing chill that penetrated my bones, 

a jail that aged me with only

brief escapes to fetch fresh produce or toilet paper.


I have not just flown to a warmer climate.

I have stepped into another time:  a summer

when I walked fearlessly wherever I wanted,

when I biked home from the movies at night,

when I bounced the four-square ball on a concrete driveway,

when I swam across the black, smooth water of Cedar Lake.


As the sunlight now streams construction dust,

My body moves through its motes

to become a child again,

and relaxes.

My mind is buoyed by the memory and sighs.

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