Summer Reveille & Fall Skimming

Cheryl Caesar

Summer Reveille

The cool clean birdsong
sluices my brain; cool water
calls to hands and face.

Fall skimming

Summer is over when we close the pool.
A two-day, four-hand job.
I lean from the deck, the heavy pole
swirling the leaf mosaics, green and gold.
(“Nothing gold can stay,” Frost says. You could take
a picture. But that’s not what we mean.)
Mosaics move on a ghost ground, water
reflecting birch.
I rub my frozen back,
massage my curled hands open.
I turn and more leaves swirl
around me. I’m in the mosaic,
in the middle of time.
(“My life closed twice,” says Emily.
How many more closings are left to me?)

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives readings locally and publishes poetry in the U.S and abroad. When it’s all too much, she escapes in books, cats and Michigan lakes, and dreams of a saltwater infinity pool she once knew in Palermo.

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