A POEM TO MARK THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER . . .
red the cherries turn,
burning in the dark green sky,
a thousand suns, almost as red
as the true sun that's going down
right now behind the mock orange
and weigela, so hot you'd think
it would sizzle, hiss
as its light's put out
for the night.
At the heart of each cherry
there's a pit, a stone,
an architecture of bone,
the flesh ripening
so fast, so fast.
Robins steal the cherries one by one.
And who can blame them?
Such fierce burning.
This world, red in tooth
and claw, with so much loss
sometimes you wish
your heart could turn to stone.
But still, the flesh is sweet.
Now the sky darkens, and the cherries
cannot be seen. It is one of those soft
summer nights, after a day of bake oven heat,
the air playing with the hair on your neck,
the bare skin of your arms and legs.
In the grass, fireflies rise in their sultry dance,
little love notes that flicker, that burn.