Lines for a June heat wave

half-grown groundhog
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A half-grown groundhog —
“Wait while I get the camera,” I say,
& it does.


Recognized by its glide,
the first monarch butterfly
back from the south.


In the air-conditioned mall,
the plastic flowers are safe
from the blistering heat.


Drinking from a tap
in the base of an old elm,
a Penn State squirrel.


I run into someone
I first met 17 years ago,
in cicada time.


So good, I don’t want to finish it:
fresh strawberries sliced
into stewed rhubarb.


Inside the package
stamped “Royal Mail,”
a book of small stones.


Driving the tractor into the woods,
mountain laurel blooming
above the roar.


Back from mowing,
I find a ground beetle trapped
in the kitchen sink.


A game in a dream:
no one knows the rules, or how to win.
I wake to heat lightning.

For another view of the half-grown groundhog, see here.

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

7 Replies to “Lines for a June heat wave”

  1. I like that first one best; it’s the last line that gets me:

    A half-grown groundhog —
    “Wait while I get the camera,” I say,
    & it does.

    “& it does” works on many levels here, says so much more than just the actions of the groundhog.

  2. Thanks for the comments.

    Peter, twitches – It’s interesting that you singled out the two I put the least effort into writing. Which is nearly always the case with haiku, I find (though not necessarily other short pieces), that fist thought = best thought.

    leslee – It’s here! Supposed to go down into the 50s tonight; it’s already in the high 60s.

    Karen – Chalk it up to his/her youth, I guess.

    It turns out there are at least two of them, by the way. Twice today I caught them together. I may not have much f a garden left by the end of the summer. When they’re just learning what’s good, they sample even some pretty unsavory things, such as butterfly weed and tomato plants.

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