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Summer Blues
by
David Budbill


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You got to understand: here
Winter stays six months a year—
Mean, mean winters and too long.
Ninety days is what we get, just

Ninety days of frost free weather.
I know you don’t believe it but . . .
Ninety days is all we get. Just
Ninety days of frost free weather.

And in that lousy, puny, crummy,
Stinkin’, measly ninety days we just
Got to get outside and get together!

Now I said, ninety days is all we get.
Just Ninety days of frost-free weather
(Believe it, honey, ‘cause it’s true)
Ninety days is all we get, just

Ninety days of summer weather.
So you can see how we just got to, we
Just got to get outside and get together.

I said, OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE!
We got to get OUTSIDE!
And get together.

And in those ninety days we got to:
Grow tomatoes, beans, potatoes,
Corn, squash, cucumbers and thyme.
Have barbecues, and a day out on a
Mountain we can climb.

We got to:
Raise some flowers and some pigs
Build a shed and mow the lawn,
Pick blueberries and mushrooms
And go skinny-dippin’ in the pond.

Got to:
Go to the fair, have sex with warm feet
Put up a thousand thousand tons of hay,
Go to some dances out of doors
And cop some rays!

Ow! Ninety days is all we get.
Just ninety days of frost free weather.
And in that lousy, puny, crummy,
Stinkin’, measly ninety days we just
Got to get outside and get together!

I said, I said, we got to
Get outside and get together.

And then at night after we been
Skinny-dippin in the pond
We got to make a campfire
And have a cookout on the lawn.
We got to eat some chicken,
Lie around the fire, drink some wine,
Then watch the night sky let a
Billion, billion stars come out to shine.

I said, OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE!
We just got to get OUTSIDE!
And get together.


From Happy Life, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in September 2011.
Used with the author's permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

David Budbill (1940 - 2016) was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter. He is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a picture book for children, dozens of essays, and the libretto for an opera. A one-time commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, David received numerous awards in the course of his career. Learn more about him at www.davidbudbill.com.

 


Post New Comment:
karenpaulholmes:
love this. Sent it to my Michigan sister who definitely related to it! (and I used to live there too).
Posted 06/07/2011 02:54 PM
loisflmom:
As a transplant Floridian who sleeps naked under a ceiling fan much of the year, I DO remember camping in Vermont in August, and being grateful for our Coleman tent heater at night! Great poem, great memory-maker.
Posted 06/03/2011 12:20 PM
KevinArnold:
Kind of irrepressible, that intentionally-formless energy. Pshew!
Posted 06/03/2011 08:10 AM
mimi:
love the poem, and i'll drink to all of that!
Posted 06/03/2011 06:22 AM


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