I can see the summer coming. 

It is on the winds that blow and the rains they bring.

I can see it in the way the dog smells the wind and how she slows her pace, getting hotter quicker than usual.

The flowers begin to wilt in the noon time but quickly revive at dusk to their full brilliance.

I can smell the summer coming.

It is there in the piles of cut grass that get dry and brown as the day moves on.

It is in the rising smoke of the barbecue that settles over the backyard and then rises up and away with the evening wind.

And in the chlorine of the pool water that drips off her sun kissed skin as she waits to come back into the house.

I can taste summer coming in the ripened melon cut at the table and then devoured after dinner and again in the homemade lemonade she squeezed into the tall glass, poured over ice and then stirred with a metal spoon.

And in the strawberries, soft and sweet, added to breakfast.

I can hear the summer coming.

Sometimes the sound comes in the loud bursts over the yards of the neighborhood as lawns are cut and shaped.

The sound is there in the splashing and yelling of children as they sit in shallow pools on the front lawn – a taste of what is to come. 

I can hear it in the voices of students who speak with excitement as they mark off days on calendars – going backwards to zero. 

Then come the sounds of motor cycles and top down cars going down the road towards later and later sunsets.

I can touch summer coming towards me in ever more obvious ways.

It is in the sweat that falls off of my forehead as I walk the st in the late afternoon and in the new flowers that grow out in front of the house along with the wash leaves of the magnolia.

I feel it when I touch the warm skin of my daughter’s forehead and shoulders and in the smooth sun block I spread on her freckled nose.

Grey sky, blue sky.

Dry grass, wet grass.

Clouds a mile high.

Sunshine like polished brass.

Painted butterfly.

Mother cat and kittens holding playful class.

Summer winds,

Breezy nights,

High noon sun,

Shadetree picnic,

Sunburned face,

Tanned brown skin,

All senses alive,

Full of breath and growing. 

2. After the Rain

After the rain in front of the house the dirt road runs like a river and creates small ponds at the edges of the grass.

Thenrest runs down the street and gets splashed to the sides by the cars beginning their day leaving tire tracks behind as if they are souveniers.

(A semi- permanent salute to progress against nature.)

Until the sun returns and the wet road becomes dry stains and the tracks slowly disappear and the road turns to dust getting spread around when the wind blows…..

Until the sky grows dark,

and the clouds break open, spilling water,

and that river flows again!

3. A Brand New Day

She walked to school on the sidewalk under over hanging limbs that dropped water on her upturned face as she moved along.

Smiling face,

A state of grace,

A Brand new day,

Storm memories along the way.

In that smile there was relief and joy over the passing of violent storms – scary noise and illuminated nighttime skies.

Keeping company with the cat under the bed.

Watching the light show through the blinds as it plays out on the far wall.

Scared, wide eyes.

Thunder stilting cries.

Feline freind, fear to transcend.

This is a new day and now there is nothing to be afraid of – the cat was lying in the morning sun under the window, occasionally clicking his tail and then making it into the shape of a question mark.

When walks to school and looking up smiles as the drops from the trees hit her gently on her face.

4. A Swallowed Evening

The clouds built in from the West that day.

I was expecting them from the East.

The wind handled the trees like a celestial beast.

Sky turning black from a cloudy grey.

Then came the lightning flashes! Loud and long, turning the darkness into bright day,

like some cosmic, atmospheric, dramatic play,

a building crescendo of intensifying power and electronic sharpness.

The rain poured down in steady waves,

creating running rivers down the dirt road. 

The cats ran across the lawn, looking for some sheltering cave.

They scattered as if responding to some ancient feline code. 

The storm grows, atmospheric music as if making notes across a stave. 

The storm’s fury spent, and moving on as if the once quiet evening had been swallowed.u

5. Fireworks

1. We walked to the end of Albedo Road as soon as it got dark, looking West and waiting for the sky to be illuminated,

listening for the coming symphony, 

punctuated by bursts of sonic notes.

School was far away, on no one’s mind.

We were making independence memories. 

2. I drove the kids to Valentine Park well before dark. 

They played and ran around, climbing on rocks and jumping, asking, “when will the sun set?”

 In their questions there were echoes,

from the past, from those nights at the end of Alvero Road and the beginning of new independence memories. 
6. Cats and Dogs 

It rained everybday,

the entire month of May.

Pouring rain, all day, ending in the evening,

then starting again in the morning.

The two cats could not have cared less, 

as they lay on the window sill and flicked their tails back and forth, silent expression, like pieces in a game of chess.

Sometimes they chased the drops as they rolled down the window.

Drops that fell from high to low. 

The dog is quite troubled by all the rain,

sitting by the door, whimpering and pacing back and forth as if she is in pain.

When night comes she takes restless naps,

lying on the couch but looking out the window when an occasional car comes down the street carefully navigating all those muddy, pot hole traps. 

The cats, completely comfortable, spent the night in their usual spots, curled up and snoozing away,

at daybreak the stretch and yawn, the smaller of the two is ready to play. 

To them the dog is a curious and obsessed creature,

she no longer even notices the cats since the door that never opens is her constant fixated feature.

When may ended, June arrived all bright and sunny, the dog was delighted and anxious as the sun came through the window on top of the door. 

The cats were pleased as they also found the sun coming through the low window in the bedroom and they fell asleep right there on the floor.