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By Jennifer Grotz

Before the moths have even appeared


to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,


a long row of them glowing uselessly


 


along the ring of garden that circles the city center,


where your steps count down the dulling of daylight.


At your feet, a bee crawls in small circles like a toy unwinding.


 


Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream.


And the noisy day goes so quiet you can hear


the bedraggled man who visits each trash receptacle


 


mutter in disbelief: Everything in the world is being thrown away!


Summer lingers, but it’s about ending. It’s about how things


redden and ripen and burst and come down. It’s when


 


city workers cut down trees, demolishing


one limb at a time, spilling the crumbs


of twigs and leaves all over the tablecloth of street.


 


Sunglasses! the man softly exclaims


while beside him blooms a large gray rose of pigeons


huddled around a dropped piece of bread.


Jennifer Grotz, “Late Summer” from The Needle. Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Grotz. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Source: The Needle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)

  • Living
  • Nature
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Jennifer Grotz
Poet and translater Jennifer Grotz earned a BA at Tulane University, an MA and MFA from Indiana University, and a PhD at the University of Houston. She has recently completed a manuscript of translations of contemporary Psalms from the French poet Patrice de La Tour du Pin. Her next translation project will be a selection of poems from the Polish of Jerzy Ficowski. She teaches creative writing at the University of Rochester and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program, and she serves as the assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

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