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.

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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