Summer's Gone

Trying to wrap my brain around the upcoming season:

The school year.


The approaching holidays.

I’m still stuck in May, wanting to move slowly and plan vacations, but summer’s gone as evidenced by the many college students who crowded onto the light rail yesterday on their way to the first day of classes.

* * *

Our first family is taking one last vacation to Martha’s Vineyard and the POTUS revealed his vacation reading list. Plainsong is a good book, glad Obama’s reading it. I hope we see women writers on his list next time.

One of my favorite blog posts from this summer. No words, just three writers dancing.

And a poem that I heard at a reading this summer that made me shiver. The poet is Sam Wylie, a senior at Blue Ridge High School in Northern Arizona:


a pale mane dangles like

willow branches down your temple,

curving inward to wash their hands in

the faintly sallow shallows of skin

fingertips tarnished by fishing worms fumble

night-dampened denim for

flame and filtered sin, draping our noses

in a nicotine veil

your bones and cologne

stretch drum tight beneath a

t-shirt and pause, arced

over the tackle box, displaying

each ridge in your spine,

mountains jutting across a

dark cotton valley

living room lights

Monet down in sunflower

and lemon dabs across the

expanse of golf course and pond,

stitching a gleaming patch into your eyes

as your feet rest in

your shoes rest on

the lawn rests under

the butter-soft moon

sprinklers whimper

sorely at hole eight as

we stand together but

not touching, waiting

for god to appear

from across the water and

salvage us from the wreckage

of cheap gin, defiance

and Marlboro 27s

but the rotten plum of evening

soon drips off of our scalps,

rinsed by the licorice night and

finally, you catch a trout,

ending his life the way

all men should die—

with their eyes facing the

stars—because everyone

deserves to be certain that

no one is coming to save them

~copyright Sam Wylie 2009


  1. Oh, Oh oh.

    Can't believe he's a senior. That was amazing. Seems I've had the best of luck with poetry lately, thanks to you.

    It makes me realize I've been trying so hard to learn the steps to this dance, I forgot the music.

    Thank you, Renee. And Sam.

  2. Holy holy holy.... that is a stunning poem; and you knew him when...