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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Yikes! August Already?

The poem below was inspired by a recent  monologue of Jimmy Kimmel as well as my own backyard observations. I'm not sure how often comedians and poets contemplate the same phenomenon, but certainly the arrival of August elicited the same response from most everyone I know (and many of whom I don't).


You and your friends
always sound 
so surprised when I arrive,
but certainly,
 (especially at your age), 
you knew I’d return
as surely as you knew
I’d leave again.

Why, then, are you surprised?
Patiently, I waited 
as I always wait—
just around around the bend,
lingering 
in the lengthening shadows,
listening 
for the fading call 
of the cricket and katydid. 

Finally, when the endless blue 
bamboozled you,
when the wisteria
wrapped you in her woody arms;
and the honeysuckle and hyacinth 
lulled you to forgetfulness,

I approached. 

My suitcase was packed
(as it always is)
with peaches and pears; 
with mulberries and melons;
goldenrod, sedum,
and well-worn passports 
for the warbler and sparrow.

You take what I have to give
(as you always do),
and when my suitcase 
is empty,
you shudder
and shut me away
never noticing the message 
tucked in my side pocket—

time passes. be kind. forgive your enemies.
most of all, 
do not be surprised—
winter is waiting just around the bend.

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