07.13.14 Rita sent me a thank-you email, after they’d been down here at the lake for a casual summer supper together, and wrote, “summer, summer, summer!” It’s all of that right now–long hot days, cool nights, “pretty bird” songs at dawn, pesky mosquitoes at dusk, the super moon dripping gold into the water. One of my favorite contemporary poets, Joyce Sutphen, captures the magic of this brief and transient season in our lives.
The Last Perfect Season
By Joyce Sutphen
No one knew it then, but that was the last
perfect season, the last time sky and earth
were so balanced that when we walked,
we flew, the last time we could pick a crate
of strawberries every morning in June,
the last time the mystical threshing
machine appeared at the edge of the field,
dividing the oats from the chaff, time of
hollyhocks and sprinklers, white clouds over
a tin roof. Everyone we knew was young then.
Our mothers wore dresses the color of
dove wings, slim at the waist, skirts flaring
just enough to let the folds drape slightly,
like the elegant suits our fathers wore,
shirts so white they dazzled even
the grainy eye of the camera when
we looked down into the viewfinder to
press the button that would keep us there,
as if we already knew that this was
as good as it was ever going to get.