Breezes

summer comes to a close
autumnal breezes waft
rustling memories of those
days when the close of summer
had more definitive endings

sun-drenched days of youthful
frolic, innocent play, done

swimming, playing with frogs in
holes dug on sandy beaches at
grandparent’s homes; ‘the lake’
summer Xanadus of childhood
one year, scenic backdrops for
advancing adolescence the next

the summer dented pails,
bent shovels lay unused in
boathouse corner; replaced with
initials inside a heart, drawn
artfully at dusk in beach sand with
carefully chosen stick, just to be
erased by evening’s gentle waves

Previous summers we traveled
in packs along endless lakeshore
some ‘ooing’ over discovered shells
all ‘eewing!’ over dead, bloated fish
skipping rocks to show machismo

But our duo walks became more
intimate strolls through the woods
privacy trumping pinecone collection,
coy separation from the collective
group not as subtle as we hoped

Each summer indelible as the
next; parts of many years blending
seamlessly together, a montage of
youthful Julys, childhood vacations

But the starkness of one summer
that is viewed not with the gauziness
of looking back fondly, but with clarity
of time, place, purpose…firsts.

One brilliant, Kodacolor snapshot
that never made it into any scrapbook
yet still remains the clearest picture

especially when summer ends
and the breezes of fall swirl

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Snapshot

The picture was taken
from too far away

the two of us sit on the
apartment steps
the manicured shrubs on
either side dominate
we are framed, she and I,
by wrought-iron railings

Still, it is the only picture
of us that I have

she wears sunglasses and
her acorn-hued hair
cascades over her right
shoulder, trickles down
almost to her lap

I sit on her left
my hand behind, not quite
coming around her back

We hadn’t been together
very long; a few weeks
later any snapshot would
have been much different

more focused, more intimate
more of what we became
before we went our
separate ways

All that is left is a yellowing
bent-corners Instamatic
photo, circa 1979

Were it of anyone else,
finding it in a stack of old
pictures I would squint,
wondering just who these
people were, so far away
from the picture taker