Taste of Summer

There are some books, some poets, that I instinctively associate with winter — Leslie Harrison’s Displacement, Frost, all the Russians (accurate or not) — but who do you think of as a summer poet? Lyrical, fulsome, hot… give me some recommendations. I’m in a mood.

Life is bursting at the seams here. In addition to the day-to-day work of work and parenting, I’ve been a madwoman of creativity.

In the kitchen.

In the last week I’ve baked Portuguese sweet bread, chocolate drop cookies, cinnamon-swirled brioche loaves, and strawberry jam.

And I’ve written exactly one and a half lines of poetry.

Cooking fits well into the balancing act, especially baking — outside of the mixing, so much of it is passive, letting the oven do all the work while keeping an eye on the time — but the still center I need to write is harder to come by these days.

Yet, at last, the high tide of grief has begun to ebb. Has bowed and taken its place several steps behind the new ruler of the household. I felt so overwrought through most of my pregnancy, so bereft, I couldn’t imagine…

The boys resemble their dad — the brow line, their cute button noses — and so does Georgia, though her  look is softer and clearly feminine.

But her long fingers, with their perfect little fingernails — her hands are an inheritance from my mother.

The poems will come, as will sleep, and normalcy (of a kind).

But this, this is fleeting. In the face of such spectacular vulnerability and need, this being that I created cell by cell, how can I feel anything but blessed.

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10 thoughts on “Taste of Summer

  1. Feel blessed. It’s a gift which comes our way far too infrequently.

    As for heat, Flannery made me sweat more than most. God bless her, she certainly makes my Short List.

    The writing will come, don’t rush it. You’ll be moved, and you’ll lay it down for us mortals to see.

    Please apologize to The Mister for this comment, but your open-hearted musings deserve more than a cursory viewing.

  2. So beautiful Marie. I’ve been finding it difficult to write these days. Somehow it’s easier to hunker down and get pen to paper when it spring & summer. Enjoy that baby. I can’t think of better inspiration.

  3. That blessing is one of the most beautiful blessings I’ve ever seen. Sweet inspiration.

    The poems will come. They will.

    I’ve never thought of authors in terms of seasons before. You’ve given my brain a new question to spin through. I’ll be in touch as the answers begin to emerge (but Neruda pops to mind as a summer author…especially the love sonnets).

  4. This post *is* a poem, so lyrical and beautiful–you *are* writing!

    BTW, this morning I was telling my son about how his grandmother (who died when he was a baby) was a dancer, and that must be why he’s such a good dancer, and then I started crying. It’s like our bringing life into the world brings us closer to that loss of connection.

  5. Thank you so much for this entry, Marie! I am so very happy to hear your grief is ebbing. This is such a gorgeous entry.

    For some reason, I always associate Maurice Manning’s work with summer — I think because I read his books by the pool one hot July!

  6. so beautiful, my dear marie. i thought of you often during your pregnancy, knowing your mom must have been on your mind so very often. i’m so pleased georgia has her hands — and i’m looking forward to seeing what other treasures she has hidden, as well, as soon as she can show them to you. xo

  7. I was thinking of Beth Ann Fennelly’s “Tender Hooks” while you were writing. It’s a book of poetry about being a mother. It’s also brutal, sexual, and poignant.

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