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Seventeen
by Mary McCarthy

That summer
there were no shadows
I had swallowed the sun
and it shone in me
like a flame in a glass lantern.
I moved like a dancer
down the city streets
breathing bright air
full of new music,
free and easy in my yellow dress
open as the daisy’s golden heart.
fearless and ready
for the full moon’s rise
when I would lift the bowl of night
to my lips
and drink up all the stars.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I don’t have a picture of me in that wonderful yellow dress, but in this picture I am still 17, here with my first real boyfriend, at the Military Ball. He was in ROTC, this was during the Vietnam war. We didn’t last.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I thought of my seventeenth summer, I remembered a magical time, like a deep breath of clean air, full of joy and anticipation, with hardly a smudge or shadow to remind me how dark and unrelenting my sad times were, or would be again.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday, and Three Elements Review. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.