The End of Summer by Rachel Hadas

Because this speaks perfectly to me lately - enjoy.

The End of Summer
By Rachel Hadas

Sweet smell of phlox drifting across the lawn—
an early warning of the end of summer.
August is fading fast, and by September
the little purple flowers will all be gone.

Season, project, and vacation done.
One more year in everybody’s life.
Add a notch to the old hunting knife
Time keeps testing with a horny thumb.

Over the summer months hung an unspoken
aura of urgency. In late July
galactic pulsings filled the midnight sky
like silent screaming, so that, strangely woken,

we looked at one another in the dark,
then at the milky magical debris
arcing across, dwarfing our meek mortality.
There were two ways to live: get on with work,

redeem the time, ignore the imminence
of cataclysm; or else take it slow,
be as tranquil as the neighbors’ cow
we love to tickle through the barbed wire fence
(she paces through her days in massive innocence,
or, seeing green pastures, we imagine so).

In fact, not being cows, we have no choice.
Summer or winter, country, city, we
are prisoners from the start and automatically,
hemmed in, harangued by the one clamorous voice.

Not light but language shocks us out of sleep
ideas of doom transformed to meteors
we translate back to portents of the wars
looming above the nervous watch we keep.


  1. "Summer or winter, country, city, we
    are prisoners from the start and automatically,
    hemmed in, harangued by the one clamorous voice."

    love love love

  2. Well, you know me, I think the start of autumn is freeing. :) Not to mention, we could also use some rain in these parts . . .

  3. We are prisoners from the start... That's so true.

  4. Summer time, and the livin's easy...

    At the end of each summer I feel I've done something wrong, because that has never been the case. The "unspoken aura of urgency" speaks to me much more. At least this year I did manage to see two meteors during the "shower"...only had to stand outside looking up til 1am. :)

  5. I think you should have another haiku competition about the end of summer. Mine would read something like: "Thankgodthankgodthankgod Is it fall yet??" But, you know, with the proper amount of syllables. :) xo

  6. I thought that was lovely. Greetings!

  7. You are an AMAZING writer, girl!! Seriously keep up the great work :)
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

  8. love the first stanza...i admit, i'm looking forward to fall!

  9. This is making me cry because I am desperately hanging on to every last second of summer. The "get on with work" phrase is why I'm not quite ready for everything to begin. :( This is beautiful, though!

  10. I was out for an afternoon stroll in the countryside today and I noticed all wildflowers have disappeared. Days here lately resembled the middle of Autumn so yes, the end of summer is here and it reminds us that we're packing our bags in a few days and will have to face reality very very soon.


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