Ode to Summer
Caitlyn Cacciatore

O sweet summer, O honey dripping

like amber from our lips – why

must we deprive the bees

of the fruits of their labor;

why do we pick summer’s last roses

to put on display? let them melt

into the good and giving earth;

allow the petals to fade and fall

and dive into a loamy oblivion;

the soil dark and deep

with the promise

of another summer

to keep.

O summer, sweetened on the vine

of the seasons; O honey flowing

like wine, O amber-laden coast;

I have deprived the shore

of its shells; but you – you

always left the beach

as it was in a time before time;

the ever-shifting ocean

dreaming of the drowned

as she falls into the arms

of sleep.

O summer, O humid August heat

O sweet rind of warmth

before we are plunged once more

into the cool abyss of ice and snow

and hoarfrost slow-blooming

on the window; the willows

buried under eons of snow,

the hush; the quiet chill and

the willows, lacking the will

even to weep.

Caitlin Cacciatore (she/hers) is a queer writer and poet who lives on the outskirts of New York City. She believes poetry has the power to create change and brighten lives, and wishes for her work to be an agent of forward motion. She won first prize in Bacopa Literary Review 2020 for poetry. You can find her at caitlincacciatore.wordpress.com (Caitlin also has a poem on the shortlist!)

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