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Vermont, August 2020
August. Midday. Look up: flawless sky
until a cloud sprouts; sidles; suddenly
blots out the sun. Wind troubles the trees;
stops. A hush. A stillness. Ominous?
Not really. It will start again, and soon.
Stopping these alternations can’t be done.
Incessant changes won’t be kept at bay.
Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day?
complained the Bard, who was expecting no
reply. I’ll go in now and check the dough
rising gently in its yellow bowl
on the kitchen table in a pool
of sunlight for which the two cats compete.
That patch of warmth has shifted as I write.
From Pandemic Almanac (Ragged Sky, 2022). Copyright Rachel Hadas 2022. Included in Vox Populi with permission.
Rachel Hadas is the author of many books of poetry, prose, and translations. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.