The mood changes so fast here. Summer’s over, time to move on. There’s a melancholy (but not a bad melancholy, if that makes any sense at all). I welcome the fall air and these storms that roll across the lake, whipping the waves into a frenzy and sending me running up to the house as the huge droplets let loose from the clouds, almost a surprise.
I wrote a poem yesterday. Funny that for years I wrote poems and never showed a soul–now I’ve read two to an audience, shared them here, written more , and here is another one. There is a freedom that comes with my age and I will simply embrace it.
What have I got to lose? You will read or not read, like or not like, remember or forget. And we’ll all move on.
Bring down the flags,
tuck up the beach chairs and the boats.
Shutter the windows and bolt the doors;
September has come.
She sends the summer people scurrying from lake cottages
back to big cities and dull suburbs,
where the sound of gentle lapping waves is replaced by
shrill alarms and maddening traffic.
We stay on the beach, undeservedly,
and wonder how we will fare here when the winds blow cold,
the days grow shorter and the nights clearer,
longer: more silent.
The weekenders will come before then; the color-seekers and apple-pickers
bringing city reminders and driving too fast.
We’re not like them anymore, and
we’ll say we can’t wait for them to leave.
The lake will chill by October, but I’ll still
walk the beach barefoot: either I won’t like to be confined by shoes
or the feel of the bone-cold sand will keep me grounded,
I won’t know which.
We’ll retreat when the wind finally overtakes our voices
and leaves us mute; when winter in earnest comes and the sky
is indistinguishable from the lake, the sand, the woods,
and all is a sullen and frosty gray.
I’ll keep sand in pockets and pebbles on night tables
in the city, in wait for the spring thaw and a fresh beach
scrubbed clean of last summer’s footprints.
It won’t be long.