Poetry Sunday: Late Summer

Summer is beginning to wind down, even here in the subtropical South. Temperatures that hovered around 100 degrees F. for interminable weeks now top out at a more moderate 85 - 90 on most days. 

The rains have returned, even before it is autumn on the calendar, and so we don't feel so parched any more. 

The days are noticeably shorter and the sun sets much farther south than it did only a month ago. 

Already, a few leaves are yellowing and sprinkling the ground. That sprinkle will soon become a flood.

It is the interregnum between the summer's rule and the coming reign of autumn. It is late summer.

Late Summer

by Jennifer Grotz

Before the moths have even appeared
to orbit around them, the street lamps come on,
a long row of them glowing uselessly

along the ring of garden that circles the city center,
where your steps count down the dulling of daylight.
At your feet, a bee crawls in small circles like a toy unwinding.

Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream.
And the noisy day goes so quiet you can hear
the bedraggled man who visits each trash receptacle

mutter in disbelief: Everything in the world is being thrown away!
Summer lingers, but it’s about ending. It’s about how things
redden and ripen and burst and come down. It’s when

city workers cut down trees, demolishing
one limb at a time, spilling the crumbs
of twigs and leaves all over the tablecloth of street.

Sunglasses! the man softly exclaims
while beside him blooms a large gray rose of pigeons
huddled around a dropped piece of bread.


  1. It captured the essence of the end of the season to perfection! 😃

  2. Thank you. Appreciate this

  3. In Los Angeles summer lingers an extra month with heat and strong sun right up to the equinox, though the slant of the light begins to tilt. Our leaves don't fall until October or even November and later sometimes. And I still have to water everyday through September because there will not be a drop of rain. But since I grew up on the east coast, the poem brought back good memories!

    1. Yes, "summer" lingers well into fall here as well in most years, but in late August and September, the quality of light begins to change and a few leaves begin to fall, the temperatures fall a few degrees, and we can dream that benevolent autumn is actually on the way.


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