Let me read it to you…


by | Jun 10, 2017


I stand in the backyard

with my arms crossed holding my elbows.

I turn my face to the sun, close my eyes, take in the smell

of cut grass rising through the neighborhood.

The hydrangeas are preparing to burst out

with clouds of blossoms

and I notice a wasp held captive

behind the porch screen door.

I hear cars going by on Frankson Ave.

and a far-off train making its way

over city streets with every hollow whistle.

The trunks of spruce and ash are still and upright along the avenue

while limbs sway and stir against a blue sky,

making ocean sounds in the wind,

brilliant pricks of light popping through

like tiny, silent fireworks.

There are still dead leaves spinning in corners of buildings

and behind old garages near piles of abandoned window frames

and sawed off hackberry branches.

I’m standing here in love with the moment,

but not grasping too tightly.

It’s the early days of summer

and I like to open the windows while I write

so I can listen to children laughing and playing and singing,

imagining their bare feet slapping the sidewalk

or running through sprinklers.

I like to leave the windows open in case there’s that one cool breeze

bringing with it the sweetness of lilacs

or smoke from a nearby barbecue grill.

At a nearby lake, joggers jog and strollers stroll

and ducks shepherd their babies into wet fields of cattails

and fallen trees submerged to make a sort of freshwater tide pool.

The path is hard and stamped with gravel,

pressed in by sandals and sneakers

and bike tires and pads of dog’s feet.

The shadows of trees sprawl out across the grass and clover

where mamas and babies sit in the shade on a blanket auntie made,

a tuperware of fat cherries spilled over.

I can walk all the way around the lake in 28 minutes,

but today I try not to walk too quickly.

Copyright Cynthia Berg 2017


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