August days

August days

The fading light of August days
           dipping gradually into September
when some but not all things
           fall apart

Foxes know it
           you can see it in their eyes
as they look longingly
           at the gardens that will soon
be stripped to the bone :
           on shed roofs they laze
soaking up the last rays
           of the summer sun

There are roses in bloom
           the piecemeal beauty
of their petals still intact :
           and so gingerly 
down by the back fence
           I begin to pick blackberries
the plump succulent flesh
           occasionally bursting
under the slightest pressure
           such a delicate operation
and then a thorn
           pierces my forefinger
drawing thick globules of blood
           that instantly blend
with the stains
           from the crushed fruit

The frailty of it all
           year after year
the rise and fall of beauty :
           she had it in her eyes
in the soft smooth skin
           the graceful gestures
of her hands
           her dancer’s feet
in the breadth of her smile
           and so we pray
for the resurrection
           of the body

John Lyons


Revised from the earlier post

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