Sweet Summer Gone

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i stood on the balcony as
tiny drops of rain began to
fall from the sky
a welcome shock of cool as each raindrop
hit my skin

i stood there
asking mother nature to keep going
to let it all out
at the same time trying to convince the dog
that this rain was just like
walking into the lake
just like
when i rub ice cubes on his belly
that it felt good
he just stared at me from the doorway
unmoving with disbelief in his eyes

finally, a break from the oppressive heat
that the city had been cloaked in all day
like a heavy blanket
making us forget who we are and where we came from
erasing our memories and our manners
turning our minds to mush

the kind of heat that feels like
at any given moment
you could melt into the puddle on the sidewalk
the animals paralyzed
our cats lying on the coolest patches of wood floor
they can find
bellies up, legs in the air
secretly wishing that
they were hairless
and loved to swim
i’m sure

the kind of heat that has the dog panting
his buoyant energy completely drained
with no urge for the park or a run or to play
draped horizontally across our bed
fan blowing cool air
on his soft, caramel-colored face
he stayed up there most of the day

the kind of heat that has tempers flaring
humans turned into savages
almost foaming at the mouth
each man for himself
no kindness left to be found
the roads like battlefields
too hot to wear the armor
that will keep you
safe and sound

the breeze came in
during my last class of the day
as i taught
out of the window
i could see the dark clouds rolling in
and the trees swaying in the wind
the prelude to a storm

the last class was my best class of the day
maybe the best from the last few days
a student said after
“your class felt like it was just for me. it was exactly what i needed today
for my body and mind, thank you”
what joy my heart felt
as i looked into her eyes and
thanked her with as much gratitude
as has ever existed, ever

walking home,
the wind cutting through the thick air
i could breathe deeply and freely
the weight of the day
finally beginning to lift
people coming back into themselves
(me coming back into myself)
realizing that we are not alone
as if to illustrate this
in my heart further,
i share words with an older woman
about the relief we both feel
for the moving air

just before heading down our street
i looked up to catch
an enormous dark cloud
with a lightening show dancing inside
every now and then
a bolt of lighting escapes
and surprises me and thrills me

and now
here are the raindrops
to remind you
of everything you had
forgotten
and to return you to yourself

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