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To the Days Lost in August Poem

To the Days Lost in August Poem by Deborah Cummins

with a line by Philip Booth
Summer is over on the island.
Pleasure boats are cradled.
The schooner that hauled tourists
to the archipelagoes
is dry-docked in Camden.
Neva’s has closed for the season,
the New York Times gone back,
to the mainland. At Fisherman’s Friend,
lobster by the pound is off the menu.
No one picnics on Caterpillar Hill.
Summer is over on the island.
Orion’s retreated higher.
Fog, thickening, salty, closes in.
Birches are past their yellow,
maples their red. Winds
back around Northeast,
argue with hemlocks,
petition the hackmatacks.
Acorns become brisk business
in the leaves, needles. Winesaps,
thick with bees, distill.
Any morning, a first frost
will glaze the cabbages,
chicory, and aster, the salt hay
not baled in silos.
Squalls will flood the pilings.
No boats, for days, will put off.
The talk over mended traps and rakes
has turned to tarpon, marlin,
to the days lost in August.
Hopes for revision, a few
rekindling days out of season, dwindle.
The sky ebbs into gray,
darker than the water,
darker than the woodstove’s spirals.

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