August, at an Ebb

Posted by:
Susan Rooke
May 16, 2017

Concho River Review published this poem in the Fall 2014 issue:
August, at an Ebb

Light rain pocks the dirt around our cabin
before rolling south; earthworms rise
to it, and leave their runic castings behind.
A month before autumn we have fallen
into hot confusion, unable to do much but
sit on the front porch observing the damp
calm of afternoon. A distant bobwhite calls,
and social insects pulse endlessly in their rote
corridors of Hell, numbering themselves
in the pasture weeds. Mark me, they say,

I am here
and I
and I
   and I

until we know them all. Biting flies rule
the porch, dictating how we dress to foil them,
honing the reflexes in our swatting hands.
We dodge flypaper hanging from the rafters.
Summer’s mistletoe.

With the late day sky on fire, we talk
of how we’d like to stay awake to see
the Perseids, of how tired we are. Flies
shoot through the remaining light toward us,
resembling something celestial, iron filings
magnetized, clinging to us always, following
across the universe the broad scent trails
of our exposed skin.

Flies will find their way in.


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