Terri Lynn Cummings
Summer overflows heat
Children stir the stream
and pour their bodies
into the chalice of yellow fields.
Smallness suits the summer.
Children trample tallgrass
into secret rooms, hide,
and hope no other season
will fall and change them.
Simmering light whitens reality
and the feeling of illusion
plays in minds like a snatch of song.
Young hearts’ peaceful randomness
accept the grazing cows will die content;
the stones in a pocket will rub
friction into flames of comfort;
a hearth bordered by the past
will wait for missing voices
through years overgrown
with longing – even when reality
wears the many masks of time.
Poet’s Notes: Summer and heat and all things green and yellow and blue bore the fruit of this poem. The pleasure of small town life on a wide prairie filled my childhood. Mother shooed me from the house each day. Fresh air and imagination fueled the limbs of youth. With a clutch of neighborhood friends, I swam in the reflection of clouds, played in the rain, pitted pet frogs and turtles in races. Summer sings in my blood, unlike winter’s frost, spring’s tornados, and fall’s decline. “Oklahoma Summer” welled from happy memories and the chance to turn back time.
Editor’s Note: I particularly appreciate the clever use of the word "fall" in the last line of the first stanza--so many simultaneous meanings (fall as in descend, fall as in the season, fall as in Original Sin). Cummings certainly creates a magical, mystical feeling here.