Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth.
Well, hell, Mr. Larkin, it’s high August
and we haven’t seen rain, real rain, in weeks.
A cold front barreled down from Canada
and knocked the temps down from ninety degrees
to livable, but no rain with it and
the oaks are dying and no one seems to be
ready, really, to do that much at all
about it— not that we could, anyway.
Now. I am not the less deceived here,
or I don’t mean to be: I know exactly
what Southern August means, and it’s this,
these bleak shining cloudless days with ever-
lessening meteorological chances
of anything happening at all. We bake
towards the promise of autumn. I’ve come
through the gates largely un-fucked up,
but with my share enough, I guess, to find
myself wishing hard for what must have been
your weather, the graying weeks of October
muting the colors that must be setting now
in all this August sameness, the chilled weeks
of November that signal yearly deaths.
It’s hard to be anything in this weather
but still and sour, the crops going to dust
and everything going down the long slide
to happiness, endlessly. I know I
should learn from the season, but instead I
hone my frown from here in my small house,
waiting through these sliding days for the sad
bleak beautiful weather of hats and coats.