Barbara F. Lefcowitz
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.
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