In my youth, summer swept in
She planted a flower for me over yonder
On the hill where I watch for the dawn—
Where bleached bliss and sanitized memories will one day ponder.
In those days the sun was bright
No fear of famine or drought
No cloud in sight as we soaked in the light
No water, no stakes, but rising.
I grew beside a flower with petals
The color of all the greatest journeys
Summer’s sweat—tears from laughter
Summer days—balloons and unanswered worries
And pinwheels spinning like there is no tomorrow
How was I to know this summer would go so fast?
How was I to prepare for autumn’s wrath?
Sanitized urgency, flooding back—
First one, then the final petal turns black—
The fates snuff out your smile—
And the pinwheel’s fire goes out
But you never thought it would stop, did you?
No one was ready for summer’s end.
The boat is still on the dock for another ride
The garden tools are laid out to weed and nurture
Tomorrow I planned to water the flower
Not knowing yesterday was the last time.
But what is it to love the flower
If not to love as if it will never fade away?
What is it to love summer
If not to love without fear of winter?
On this morning the hill is barren
Where the flower once bloomed tall and bright
Now cold dirt is turning to iron
And I dread the first fall of white
The last balloon has drifted away.
And where birds once sang in my heart
Now only the north wind chimes
Where we once looked out to water’s edge
The ice has frozen our final waltz
Where blue skies blanketed baseball games
Now clouds loom, aching with rains’ weight
Which shall only fall late at night when I am alone.
All colors have faded to gray
In a world that took my light away
In darkness, the pinwheel stands still
Frozen in time—as I wish I could be—on summer’s last day.
And at the hilltop, I look down where
The flower petals have left a fading trail
Leading to the place I must not go
Wait for me, flower—
Wherever spring has come again, and summers never end
And it gives you warmth and care.
But I fear I will never see this winter’s demise
For it has claimed my soul’s anchor
And I am one with the north wind’s dagger
I fear I will not last the eternal night.