Fever

By Hailey Leithauser b. 1954 Hailey Leithauser
The heat so peaked tonight
the moon can’t cool

a scum-mucked swimming
pool, or breeze

emerge to lift the frowsy
ruff of owls too hot

to hoot, (the mouse and brown
barn rat astute

enough to know to drop
and dash) while

on the bunched up,
corkscrewed sheets of cots

and slumped brass beds,
the fitful twist

and kink and plead to dream
a dream of air

as bitter cruel as winter
gale that scrapes and blows

and gusts the grate
to luff

the whitened ashes from the coal.

Source: Poetry (December 2009).

 Hailey  Leithauser

Biography

Poet Hailey Leithauser was born in Baltimore and raised in Maryland and Central Florida.  Over the years Leithauser has worked as a salad chef, real estate office manager, gourmet food salesperson, freelance copy editor, phone surveyor, bookstore clerk, fact checker, and, most recently, senior reference librarian at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
 
Returning to writing after a break of several decades, her work . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Summer

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.