The Summer Solstice

It’s the longest day of the year, in terms not about

how your life is trending, but daylight hours.

For me it’s the earliest rising on the year, perhaps

for the longest stretch of yard work, not the earliest nap.

This is the day the sun decides to stay out and play with us

as if we’re his best friends, the ones with whom he’d ride and die.

My yard calls lots louder than the beach today of all days.

I will toil longer, harder, sweatier, and so unsexier into the evening light,

until the sun picks up his fiery ball and solo rolls along amnesiac.

That earlier darkening days will come from now, leading

finally to the briefest day of all, the winter solstice,

that other end of the sun’s pendulum swing show, I dread.

The time when more yard work must be done even faster daily before earliest dark,

how in those longer nights along Nature has more time to work her magic against me,

her bursting weeds, cascading leaves, those branches ringing out rampant to hang upon,

serpentine vines skittering the gloom so stealthily they might choke me in my sleep.

How melancholy the journey from long light to long night we depart on now,

how strange it seems so much like life and death.

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