Northern Lament

Outlasting the furnace blast of summer heat,
stoically scratching countless stings,
since July, with the corn already knee high,
we have impatiently kept watch.
Sleepless, we’ve heard prowling toms clash.
Been roused by dawn’s bickering birds.
Seen clouds churn dark with swirling winds,
held spellbound as lightning flickered.
Ducked into basements when, with a boom,
awe gave way to self-preservation.
Now the rest of the garden has been picked.
Mornings arrive dappled with frost.
Storms have dissolved into a boring drizzle.
Birds are departing in early light
and the silence is loud with their absence.
Soon, Canadian geese will descend,
and on their heels, other northern cousins
to offer a funeral summation.
An entire summer, spent in anticipation.

And still we wait for the tomatoes to ripen.


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