How were we taught summer?
secret swimming holes
and long afternoon yawns?
Did we find summer along the river?
Where the smell of cool water
Wafts up into dry grass
Now pungent in the early afternoon heat.
Or did summer arrive on an afternoon breeze?
Shaking loose memories
of ice cream cones
and three-month loves.
I think summer is more like the unrehearsed fibs
From a sweet toothed kid
Skipping stones across the river.
Oblivious to mom’s dinner calls,
But keen on the subtle aroma
of strawberry shortcake.
Or, was summer announced by the lazy wind chimes?
Their faint tolling, skipping a long beat,
Echoing across the empty porch,
And fading into places where time,
all stubborn and worn,
Sways in the rhythms between
Cicadas and sleeping dogs?
Surely summer is chattering creeks,
Long golden vistas,
Soft rattles of leaves,
Hot wind through grass,
The quiet hiss of a garden sprinkler.
And let’s not forget the cricket
And its solo serenade of evening.
Then again, maybe all this summer stuff
is just the long yawn
Between someplace new
and someplace remembered.