Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Sonnet





Why do you haste with step so lithe and fleet?
Who must you visit and why do you rush?
The essence of your lilt is bittersweet
For as you spill in coral, floral blush
Where golden rod and milkweed plume compete
We feel you slipping through the underbrush
And while our arms are laden with your mirth
Or else while we run fingers fondly where
Soft spring had stirred the atrium of earth
We sense a winnowing upon the air
Within the sweep of harvest-heavy girth
Within the answer to a farmer’s prayer
And as we linger in your citadel
You softly draw us nearer to farewell

Place your distraction kindly at my door
For I am eager to be entertained
With sunny days or raindrops as they pour
From lintels high above, free, unrestrained
Yet, even then I cannot quite ignore
The imminence of something yet contained
Within the hours as they gently reach
To fill our baskets with glad garden-grace
Or in the waves that roll across the beach
Or in the canopy of walnut-lace
I taste it in the sweet smile of a peach
And I have lived enough to keenly feel
Your precious moments dripping from Time’s reel

The splendor of your tender eventide
Cannot persuade me to mourn or to dance
I am enamored but you do not hide
Time’s truth within your rose-petal romance
How swift it seems the night and day divide
Your portion; the vine covers the fence
And Queen Ann’s lace gilds every meadow-lane
I am not sad and yet my gladness aches
For in the rippling grass and golden grain
The Hand that gives is the same Hand that takes
And I can never perfectly explain
The beauty of this pain that gently breaks
Surging within, in humble, soulful praise
For the sweet rendering of summer days

© Janet Martin

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