Her flipflops kicked up sand as she
turned off the wide beach-hugging sidewalk
just off 17th Avenue at Venice Beach–
Another California winter.
No need for sweaters or sunscreen
today. Just another moment
in Paradise–
And Sheryl Crow wrote a song
And America travels Ventura Highways
And blonde bombshells in pink bikinis
tease marajuana vendors,
leather sales clerks,
and one-legged muscle men
because fun is relative
and tomorrow the youthful strides
will be replaced by suburban
duldrums, and midlife crisis
will romanticize the beauty of
what is the most woeful festival
of wandering souls.

And Maggie will get back into her
Six-year-old SUV, drive
eight hours north to her cookie-cutter
job in her cookie cutter life
and count her blessings the
way no one ever has because
at home, in a quiet corner of her
room, she creates worlds
filled with magic and heroes
and endless summer days
that make winter in LA feel

Maggie, a girl with a dream,
Drove south for a while
Until the sun set
And darkness called her home.


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