All works in the public domain in the United States because they were published before January 1, 1924.
Oh to be here.
Cuba for Christmas and a palm tree covered with glass bells and garlands of berries. The neighbors all with something else but all of them from somewhere else. Grandfather having fled Prussia when everything went crazy in 1848. From Berlin, not Madrid like half the neighborhood.
Midnight mass and enough presents to wrap around the house twice if not three times. Three cases worth from the cousins in London and one from the ones in Saint Petersburg.
No one small needing amusing. A tribe of children, not just two, and enough toys for each one to play with something different every day. Skinned knees from climbing the banyan trees while someone small enough to fit between the roots has a doll tea party under it with frangipani for sofa cushions and poinsettia for plates.
Bookshelf of romances to read through. One about a girl who ends up in Malta and another about someone in Johannesburg. Grandmother’s, they are. Must be a memory thing. Not a single one about anyone who stayed put.
Book put down and the armoire instead. A bit cold and a shawl. But something leaning up in the back with the brown paper they always use. Someone done up as cupid with the little wings. Grandfather’s uncle as a little one, it says on the back.
Funny . . . all those scandals . . .loose women, gambling and who knows what, but before that of course. . .last one on earth to be cupid but no one knew . . .
Oh to be here.
Aunt Lily’s house and the Fourth of July weekend about to arrive. So many cookouts and picnics that no one can even envision a potato not coated in mayonnaise with celery stuck in it.
Cousin after cousin and summer friend. A new apartment each year, almost, but auntie’s house always the same.
The grownups sitting around talking about the stock market and war in Europe.
Not child things. No, children meant to have fun and turn brown in the sun and sit staring at the island off the beach until your eyes feel funny.
Screen door banging, and a path nearly worn in the linoleum back and forth to the refrigerator. Case after case of soda in the back porch and uncle saying he should just get his own coke machine. Funny, says that every summer but he never does. A teasing for otherwise he surely would.
A trip to the store for fireworks and then another at a different store. Father liking to set them off for hours and no one about to sell that many at one time. Buy twenty Catherine wheels and just as many skyrockets if he could.
Someone to row everyone around in the rowboat and another somebody to organize a game of hide and seek with every other boy or girl up and down the beach.
Everyone in their bathing suit and two days in the sand after before anyone has to go home on Sunday. Over then but a postcard from the store at the end of the beach where you can walk in barefoot and walk out with summer. . .the sun shining forever and a day till the end of time . . .who needs more . . .