Patricia Horn O'Brien

Brief Summer

August 2, 2018

 

 

Not much more than a shack

among rows of shacks, it rises

 

out of Long Beach sand, spiny

twitch grass and interlocking

 

gravel paths.  The ocean's

somnolent measure

 

of summer lengthens its hours,

the hours passing, nonetheless.  Does Mrs. Doyle,

 

my mother's country mouse friend,

know the earth's steady speed

 

is relentless?  She folds line-dried sheets

onto the kitchen chair and instructs me,

 

her guest, to sit on its rising

white stack, my sandy feet lifting   

 

off the linoleum floor. Ironing, Mrs. Doyle

calls it. And when, dinner’s last dish done,

 

our breaths mingle with the lift

of crackling sheets we sail across

 

our waiting beds, summer’s swift advance

one moment held.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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