By Alessandra DeAngelis

For years when I was younger

I spent two weeks a summer at a sleepover camp. 

At the end of each session,

there was this huge bonfire

where all the campers and counselors gathered

to share inside jokes and memories.


The camp director always ended it with a ghost story and

this song he played on his acoustic guitar.

He was a rough man, with dark grey hair and a belly. 

His voice sounded like stepping on a pebble beach. 

The ghost story was never too scary but 

the song always made me endlessly happy

and immeasurably sad.


“Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time passing.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time ago.”


I didn’t understand back when I was 12 

why that song made me cry.

After he stopped singing I always noticed

how loud the cicadas were.