Remembering Summer Nights


Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.

Carl Sandburg, Back Yard

Remembering Summer Nights

I remember summer moons and steamy nights,
the sky, watercolor-washed in silver wings.

I remember light, flooding through gauzy curtains,
breezes, not enough to cool our youthful bodies.

I remember fireflies and cricket songs and frogs
calling for their mates from nearby ponds.

I remember honeysuckle sweet, the bitter
taste of cherries, culled too soon.

I remember early love, the sweaty palms
and kisses stolen on a neap tide shore

I remember yesterday, your craggy cheeks
and rheumy eyes that stare into the void.

It’s for you I write these things, digging deep
into the treasures of our past for you.

Can you remember now?

Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for Noncommercial Reuse

For Tuesday Poetics, Walt invited us to use a summer quote from a well-know poet or writer as a starting point for a poem of our own. I’ve picked up the theme again for Open Link Night, hosted by Grace at dVerse Poets Pub. We would love to have you visit, contribute and read other poets with a poem of your own–any form, any topic.

The ending of  poem is fictional, inspired by my involvement in the care of elderly couples over the years–so often one is the caregiver for the other with dementia. The verses leading up to that are mine.

 

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19 thoughts on “Remembering Summer Nights

  1. 5h2o says:

    This is a wonderful piece, and heartbreaking at the same time.

    Like

  2. Candy says:

    old memories are often the easiest to recall – this is so touching

    Like

  3. This is a beautiful tribute!

    Like

  4. kanzensakura says:

    Oh Victoria. So beautiful but the end is so sad. I totally relate to this poem and the emotions in it. Lovey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kim881 says:

    The message in your poem is close to my heart, Victoria. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful, Victoria. This speaks to the memories we all have of those balmy nights of youth: but more importantly upon the deep love that calls us to share (and reshare) with those whom we love who no longer can remember on their own. This touches my heart in so many ways. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful poem! I, too, care for the elderly, Victoria and I’ve seen this play out so many times. It IS sad, but it is also part of the circle of life. To me nothing is more excellent than seeing the elder, especially those with dementia, treated with great love and respect. When they are surrounded by photos of the memories of their lives, but treated with dignity NOW. Your words are so beautiful and the imagery so striking, that I know I’ll be carrying this poem around with me for a while as I care for my patients.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lillian says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Wonderful imagery and I love where you’ve taken this at the end. Fictional or not — it captures a life era very very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Sigh… such a gorgeous rendition of Summer ❤ ❤
    Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh this is so beautiful, with that last sadness making it perfection

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Victoria, this is tender, gentle and loving. Cherries must be culled too soon becuase if not, birds scoff the lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Truedessa says:

    I adore the opening two lines. Makes me wish I had written them. The poem is a sad reminder that the elderly have trouble remembering things.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ghostmmnc says:

    Beautiful phrases describing summer, and to also help someone remember those lovely days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Grace says:

    You painted those summer nights so beautifully Victoria. It’s a pity if those memories are gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A touching piece, Victoria. The “I remember” refrains is so telling in this poem. I relate to this.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I read summer in this poem, not only because the word itself is mentioned but because the metaphors and images portray it. I can relate to your nice description of the summer nigh-sky as watercolor-washed in silver wings. That is the way my favourite long northern sunsets colour the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is very lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. whimsygizmo says:

    Ohhhhh. I love where this goes.
    This is so beautiful:
    “the sky, watercolor-washed in silver wings.” Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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