Poetry Friday: August by George Bilgere

Poetry Friday is hosted by Linda at Teacher Dance – join us for the poetry roundup!

Today was our first full day of school, and for all the excitement of a new year beginning, I could also sense in my kids a sense of mourning for the summer’s end.  And, when I saw this picture of Washington County taken by my friend Sue Clary tonight, I felt a mourning, too.  I miss this beautiful place, and I, too, mourn summer’s end.  We shared summer stories in writing workshop today, my kids and I, swapping tales of summer camp, family vacations (theirs) and settling into a lovely old farm (mine)…and then we all sighed.  Summer, we all agreed, just seems to go by so fast. And then we sighed some more.

sue clary's picture

So, here’s a poem that seems to capture some of that summer wistfulness, just when September has crept upon us all, teachers and students alike:


Just when you’d begun to feel
You could rely on the summer,
That each morning would deliver
The same mourning dove singing
From his station on the phone pole,
The same smell of bacon frying
Somewhere in the neighborhood,
The same sun burning off
The coastal fog by noon,
When you could reward yourself
For a good morning’s work
With lunch at the same little seaside cafe
With its shaded deck and iced tea,
The day’s routine finally down
Like an old song with minor variations,
There comes that morning when the light
Tilts ever so slightly on its track,
A cool gust out of nowhere
Whirlwinds a litter of dead grass
Across the sidewalk, the swimsuits
Are piled on the sale table,
And the back of your hand,
Which you thought you knew,
Has begun to look like an old leaf.
Or the back of someone else’s hand.

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: August by George Bilgere

  1. Since we started school in early August, I have a hard time relating to this poem. And the end kind of creeps me out with the old leaf hand. But I get it. That routine you settle in to when you have more than just a few days. I miss my summer routine. I am wishing that I could sit and read poetry all day today. Ah, but my students are waiting. And we have fun plans for today.

  2. I loved the daily swimming I did in the ocean, and now, the swimsuits going away. That very first part is my favorite, such an opening to what I know is coming: “Just when you’d begun to feel
    You could rely on the summer,” Beautiful. Did you write this Tara, because it seems you did, but no name? Thank you for this lovely poem of goodbye.

  3. Since it’s been in the 90s all week, I automatically switched on the A/C this morning before leaving the house. What a surprise to feel a cool breeze as I opened the front door. Like a smack in the face. Summer gone in one night. The poem certainly captured the feeling.

    Have a great school year.

  4. Fall is definitely here on the backs of my hands. Not so much in the weather — hot, hot, hot this past week and next. Looking forward to those cool breezes Diane wrote about!

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