Warm, heartful summer is with us, bringing memories of the enchanted seasons of our childhood. Bright mornings, endless, easeful afternoons, silent, star-graced nights. Here’s a poem about one such season.

                           Eden Summer


  Fragrant summer with her heart wide open

         white cat drowsing beneath the oak

         one eye open for the innocent bird

         who sees that cat and flies away free.

         Old river wide and flowing, water brown with mud

         catfish moving silent along the bottom

         fully aware of the flicked line, the barbed insect.

         This is the summer of paradise

         when no rough train can sunder a leg

         because all boys run swiftly and surely

         when everyone in this dreaming neighborhood

         gets another year eternal.

         Old Mr. Rumble, smiling in the attic

         far above his son’s noisy household

         his blood will flow through another winter

         the summer has renewed him, given him a guarantee.

         Young Mrs. Coleman, fully still a bride,

         is carrying another child precarious, but

         surely this child will be born

         into this special summer.

         Jimmy of the painful birth, he’s walking straight now

         his strength is slowly gathering

         and Mrs. Hanavan, who has not heard the dawn

         since a summer long ago when her sense departed

         is clutching her husband in their narrow bed:

         this morning she heard, faintly, the first bird’s cry.

         The widow Finley, who sat before her mirror

         dreaming of her husband, counting the imperfections

         of her skin no longer supple, has ventured

         out into the street; a middle aged man

         in a white shirt, driving an old Ford, has

         noticed her, he will call this evening,

         and she will answer the door.


         The silent boy on the street’s dark side

         the one whose father turns away, will be made

         whole this long summer, because his father’s heart

         will break open, he will see his son, and slowly

         the boy’s own heart will dare to speak.

         St Jude, patron of cases impossible, packs his

         bags, smiling, he’s leaving town, he’s needed

         this vacation. And everyone wonders where

         harsh words went, sad remembrance,

         sickening recognition: they’re departed

         on the last slow train, the one that left

         before the first warm light

         of this lovely, improbable eternity of summer.