Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sharon Fagan McDermott: Summer’s End

We’re starving for old rituals, for mystery,

for something not completely spelled out, proven.


The sudden slip of moon that turns the sun

into a wreath of fire. We’re waiting for that moment


during the eclipse when—at once—all the birds stop singing 

and from the woods deer herds begin to walk out


from the security of canopy. In Lear, they feared

celestial events, sure that they portended doom.


But in modern times, we slip on cheap eyeglasses

to prevent blindness. And build bonfires


near the tide, dig our toes into the still warm sand,

melt marshmallows and chocolate bars


over the flames, savoring the sweetness

of our family all together in the salty breeze.


But, nothing prepares us for that moment

of true darkness when the sun is blocked,


the temperatures drop, the water hushes,

reverent.  Goosebumps rise.  The ancient brain


awakes, a burst of fear. World without light

and heat until light appears again. And we laugh


with one another, squares of chocolate in our palms

and place it flat on a graham cracker


Hold it in our palm—as sure as faith

in our continuing.

Copyright 2021 Sharon Fagan McDermott

Sharon Fagan McDermott’s books include Life without Furniture (Jacar, 2018). She lives in Pittsburgh.

One comment on “Sharon Fagan McDermott: Summer’s End

  1. Barbara Huntington
    August 30, 2021

    I have not made s’mores out camping for many, many years. To add the layer of eclipse leaves me shivering ( And craving chocolate and mystery)

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2021 by in Environmentalism, Health and Nutrition, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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