Life Essays · Original Poetry

Original Poetry: A Summer’s Haunting


The year is more then half way spent, and I feel time flying faster with each passing day. It is a struggle to maintain momentum, and there are days where I fail, but for the most part I soldier through, barely able to tread the waters, but breathing still, head above the swells.

Fear is my greatest enemy, like it is for most. Fear of failure, fear of the fall. I face a world where everything is called into question, where I can trust so few of the people I surround myself with. But there have been good times mixed with the hard; farmers markets where the air is heady with the scent of peaches and nectarines, days spent on mountain roads, the Yuba river gleaming at our side. We’ll go for our first swim of the season this week, now that the snow melt has subsided and the waters are slow and sun warmed. It will be a golden evening on the shores of a river I’ve known my whole life, a path of water that is as alive as the land it runs through, growing and changing and subsiding once more.

The winds have been kind to us here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s, not many days and nights where the air makes us ill as the forests burn and rage. The silk trees are blooming so richly this season that you can smell the scent of their blossoms on the breeze, it fills our bedroom at night, sweet like childhood, and I can almost feel the sunlight on my skin as I recall a young girl in the half light of twin silk trees, the sound of hummingbird and moth wings filling the summer dusk.

I am grateful for every day my grandmother is still with us. Time moves slower for her, measured in carefully assisted steps and falls and doctor visits. It hurts me to see the way the light from her reading lamp shines bright through her skin, as though she is already fading. I know I am lucky to have had her this long, to have had her at all, but it still hurts. Mortality weighs us down, takes so much from us and leaves us nothing in return. Where is the proud women who I once knew, except, perhaps the shade that is reflected within me. She is a mystery, and I’m afraid she always will be.

I feel as though fall will come too soon, and bring with it change, whether good or bad I cannot say. I struggle to write, to produce, to follow the flickering light. I want to hold on to this summer for as long as I can, because the cold here can kill, both the body and soul. But summer’s warmth is steady, and the light lingers long, and it almost feels like magic when the bats are dancing around you and the crickets cry their song.

Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing the right thing?

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