August 1

This morning, the mist lies in the valley. Through the open windows, a coolness steals in with the dawn. For this summer, my daughter informs me, the greatest heat has passed.

July gave us thirty-one gorgeous, sun-drenched beautiful days. Now, on the first of August, I’m wearing jeans near my open window, as my daughters’ cat keeps a hungry eye on a darting goldfinch.

My teenager aches for September and school; I think, slow this down. School may not open its doors this September, maybe not in October, maybe not at all this year. In our little Vermont oasis, that seems theoretical at times. On this first of August, I think again of Hayden Carruth’s poetry.

The world is a
complex fatigue.

Indeed. For this day, green bean picking, handfuls of zinnias, the cosmos as tall as my shoulders, the nasturtiums nestled in the tomatoes. For this day, flowers.

Hayden Carruth


Morning Notes

An August Sunday list with the daughter:

  • put up dill pickles
  • can peaches
  • write questions for tomorrow’s interview
  • pick blackberries
  • pluck Japanese beetles from the bean vines and feed this salad to the hens
  • bake a tart in the pan found yesterday in a free pile
  • wander somewhere unknown

The screened door slamming tells me it is summer…

— David Budbill, “The Sound of Summer”