Cancer and Complaint at Midsummer

Because the silence of the dead,
that blue expanse of sky about
to ashen here above my head,
is easily ignored, our tears
are blamed on flowers whitening limbs
of trees, the very air, with hymns
of summer pollen no one hears
except for women—old, devout.

And now, these humid months, dispute
them not: midsummer has no name
among the dead, no Latin root
to which it can be traced, no swarm
of conjugations to decipher.
So little left to write this summer,
my mind now weak in handling form,
which I still cling to just the same.

“Cancer and Complaint at Midsummer” by C. Dale Young from The day underneath the day. © 2001 by C. Dale Young. Published by TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.
Source: The Day Underneath the Day (TriQuarterly Books, 2001)
More Poems by C. Dale Young