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Getting Off the Bus in Carbondale, Illinois
Phyllis Wax


now this is summer

this air which hangs
over the land
parts reluctantly
as we move through it
settles in the lungs
and takes its time leaving

every moving thing is slow                             
even the ant exploring my foot

summer, this glare
this solar oven
the tireless trilling
trilling of birds  
the crickets filling the air

this almost imperceptible
breath stirring the leaves
or a wisp of hair or
drying the sweat beading
my brow

I step into it
and know:
this is summer

© by Phyllis Wax.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Phyllis Wax writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. She is inspired by nature and human nature. Phyllis has read her poetry on the radio, in coffee shops, in libraries and bars, and her work has been exhibited with art quilts and weavings in a variety of venues around the state of Wisconsin as part of four poet/fiber artist collaborations. These days, Phyllis sticks pretty close to home, but she still enjoys walking near the lake.



Post New Comment:
It's winter where I am but I'm grabbing my fan :)
Posted 07/11/2021 12:05 AM
Janet Leahy:
I love the poem but do not do well with the "solar oven." Cooler days are my delight.
Posted 07/10/2021 01:40 AM
Another good one, Phyllis. ~Doris
Posted 07/09/2021 08:47 PM
Maryann Hurtt:
Absolute perfect summer poem! Thank you, Phyllis Wax.
Posted 07/09/2021 07:55 PM
Lori Levy:
I feel the summer heat reading this poem.
Posted 07/09/2021 06:27 PM
Really captures the pull of the seasons. How necessary it is to feel summer, think summer. Thank you, Phyllis.
Posted 07/09/2021 04:26 PM
A perfect poem, the images, the lilt, and the craftsmanship (do we have to say craftswomanship nowadays?) - I love the first verse with the beginning line above it, and the final verse, both inviting us right into the experience of summer. (Forget that it was a heavenly 61 degrees here yesterday)
Posted 07/09/2021 03:56 PM
Oooof! I remember those days, and don't miss them at all! Such a perfect descriptionI need a glass of something cold now!
Posted 07/09/2021 03:47 PM
Really captures the prototypical summer afternoon! I could feel the hot air in my lungs :)
Posted 07/09/2021 02:38 PM
Wilda Morris:
Wonderful summer poem, Phyllis. I especially enjoy the ant dawdling!
Posted 07/09/2021 12:59 PM
Stephen Anderson:
A wonderful poem, Phyllis! The sensory feel of it is amazing!
Posted 07/09/2021 12:52 PM
Fine work!!!!
Posted 07/09/2021 11:40 AM
I love the air and the ant taking their time to move. A perfect summer image
Posted 07/09/2021 10:33 AM
Ohio summer in a nutshell. You captured it perfectly!
Posted 07/09/2021 09:24 AM
Solar oven indeed lately! Well done poem, Phyllis. Marilyn Z. Windau
Posted 07/09/2021 09:14 AM
Great fun. even the ant exploring my foot / dawdles,
Posted 07/09/2021 08:55 AM
phew! I can feel it , hear it and see that sticky wisp of hear. Spot on summer. I love it.
Posted 07/09/2021 08:40 AM
michael escoubas:
I live upstate from Carbondale, but central Illinois fits in perfect with your poem, Phyllis. Yes, THIS IS SUMMER!
Posted 07/09/2021 08:32 AM
Great poem , Phyllis.
Posted 07/09/2021 05:36 AM

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