Barbara F. Lefcowitz

(New York City)

April Guest


Summer has arrived too early,
before I’ve even set the table.

It does not apologize. I offer it a drink,
a stack of magazines, but it’s in a
chatty mood, follows me to the kitchen

and warns about the perils of cutting
garlic and onions in full sunlight

tells me a joke about the slashed bagel
that rushed to the ER. I pretend
to laugh, suggest that summer

fold the napkins, count the spoons and forks
but it keeps talking, the noisiest time of the year

with all those raucous bar-be-cues and squealing kids,
acrobatics applauded by claps of thunder.
Perhaps another guest will ring the bell

dressed for April, keep summer company
watching pre-season baseball on TV?

Excuse me, I say, but I must whip the eggs
for the soufflé so it will rise just enough.
When I set the bowl aside, summer

warns me about covering food
to fend off the bugs and flies.

Enough. I order summer
to serve as my oven,
rush to save the ice-cubes

and dump them down my body
just as the rest of the guests begin to arrive.

Submitted: Sunday, October 04, 2009

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