Steve Denehan

An Eight Minute Summer

We have no canyons here
no hummingbirds
no fireflies
no northern lights
but greys
and greens instead
we have waded
into December
the month of waiting
waiting for Christmas
for tinsel
for bells
for the phone to ring
for the phone to stop ringing
for the dark days to brighten
for the damp air to sweeten
today I woke to sun
a blazing sun
perched on a solitary cotton cloud
in a summer blue sky
I unfolded myself
creaked out of bed
condensed six million years
into ten seconds
as I demonstrated the evolution of man
walking up the hall
I opened the back door
sucked in air
still and crisp
there was frost on the grass
blackbirds in the trees
colour vibrating all around me
this day, a summer day
tucked away in December
this day was ours
we dressed quickly
the three of us
this secret summer’s day
for cereal to be gobbled
toast to pop
laces to be tied
teeth to be brushed and then
we are outside
under the blue
feeling heat
December heat on our skin
we play a little basketball
we skateboard down the hill
we are given eight minutes
eight minutes before
there is one cloud
then a dozen
not cotton
but dirty
old and worn dishcloths
heavy and silent and cold
a silver breeze arrives
then, of course, comes the rain
the drops fat and eager

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Recent publication credits include Better Than StarbucksFowl Feathered Review, a "microchapbook" as part of the Origami Poems Project, Terror House MagazineDual CoastThe OpiateSky Island JournalPoetry QuarterlyEvening Street ReviewThe Folded WordInk In Thirds and Third Wednesday. One of his poems was recently shortlisted for the Ireland Poetry Day Competition.  His chapbook, Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong, is available from Fowlpox Press.