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Nothing Was the Same
by
Gail Goepfert


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Nothing was the same
now that it was fall too soon.
 
Summer passed
without breezes sifting
through the open window
misting the air with the perfume
of mown grass and flushed children
catching fireflies at dusk.
 
Nothing was the same
without muggy nights
of summers gone
when standing on the lawn
I waved the garden hose,
an orchestra conductor with her baton,
as the flowers crooned
at the man in the moon.
 
I longed to soak
in the sweet smell of sultry heat
to welcome
the pulse of the cricket’s song
lulling the heavens
into tranquility.
 
Nothing was the same
when the early chill of fall
stole the music
of summer nights.
 

This poem first appeared in Tall Grass: Seasons of Change (Summer, 2010).
Used here with the author’s permission.

 

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

Gail Goepfert grew up in southern Illinois before moving to Ohio. Lately, she's been reminiscing about those days near Belleville--her hometown--and Alton, Illinois, where on a hot summer night, a "treat" was to go to the drive-in to get a drippy ice cream cone, then head out squished in the middle of the back seat of the family Chevy, between her brother and her sister, to drive along the Mississippi River until they spotted the Piasa bird on the cliffs overhanging the river road. Gail currently lives in Palatine, Illinois. For many years, she taught junior high language arts; lately, she has discovered how much she loves having a teacher rather than being one. Learn more about Gail here.

 

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
Rob:
I, too, love the hose/conductor metaphor, and those crooning flowers! Has a lot of humor, but also a wistfulness, that makes a lovely combination of feelings!
Posted 09/11/2013 10:35 AM
Gail Goepfert:
Thanks to all!
Posted 09/09/2013 06:39 PM
Jo:
Wilda's point is well taken. It made me look back on those sultry summers, and the sounds we no longer hear with our windows shut. Thanks so much Gail for this poem. Your images guide me back.
Posted 09/09/2013 01:20 PM
twinkscat:
I'm waiting for the early chill of fall now...
Posted 09/09/2013 10:34 AM
Wilda Morris:
I especially love the imagery of the third stanza - I see you there with the hose, conducting the flowers! Also the reminders of what we lost when we installed air conditioning, and sleep with windows closed.
Posted 09/09/2013 10:11 AM
loisflmom:
Here in Sarasota the "early chill of fall" probably won't happen until November--- and we will all be more than ready!
Posted 09/09/2013 08:38 AM
lincolnhartford:
Today, where I live in Wisconsin, the thermometer and the humidometer (my word) will both register readings in the nineties, and then thankfully the days moderate. The imagery of this lovely poem however matches this year's experience. The summer was wrong and now fall is confused. A setting for other kinds of poems.
Posted 09/09/2013 08:32 AM
fer:
I, for one, am happy to see the 'muggy nights' and 'sultry heat' pass to the early chill of fall, but nevertheless, I love this poem. The imagery is wonderful!
Posted 09/09/2013 06:44 AM


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