William L Roberts
Ode On A Summer Day - Poem by William L Roberts
You may, while browsing to places you should not go,
Happen upon a page, all pictures of a girl in summer.
Through a dry hot glade, she wanders idle and slow.
The trees are few, their shade dusty and gossamer.
The ground is hard, the sun's heat white.
In all that dry land, only her beauty, soft and ripe,
Offers the least hint of hope.
Her skin is pale and how it does glow!
Waxed by the sheen of youth and sweat.
Her face is heat flushed, her eyes simmer
In the solitary dream of endless summer.
Now in the sun, standing on a dusty path,
Caught as a woman in the act of love, unaware,
Senses turned inward, surroundings lost,
Lost in the endless moment of sun and still air.
Now in the shade, stretched in a sandy gully,
Eyes half closed, relaxed and drowsy,
Dreaming of heat, dreaming of sun,
Dreaming of standing again
Soft in that all consuming burn.
Perhaps you wonder about the photographer,
Unseen by you, unthought of by her.
Perhaps you pity him the moment
When he packs his equipment
And she, roused and anchored,
Jokes with his helper,
Pulls on jeans and top and sandals,
And flees to his air conditioned car.
Perhaps he stops a moment and gazes,
Sweat stinging his eyes,
Across the shimmering empty glade
To the parched treeless plain beyond.
You look up from your browser,
Your world, completely drained of color,
Flows mercilessly back about you,
Your wife in the kitchen, loud on the phone,
Your children in the playroom, caught in cartoons,
They all seem distant, unappealing and foreign.
Your future stretches, cold, bleached of pleasure.
Later when you follow the bookmark,
The page and images are gone, their server not found,
That land, that heat, that beauty, all hopelessly lost.
And you wonder if the value of beauty
Can be worth its cost.
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