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5| Summer's Distillation Left

Jane Hoogestraat

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There is a corner of the heart where summer
is always ending, but never quite — an August evening
preserved, Dickinson’s guest that would be gone,
a courteous yet harrowing grace, the last bright
gladiolus blooming, the brittle lawn reseeded,
landscape being pared down, bearing that
spare look of a sadness without cause, a litany
of sameness in the days to come between the sheaves
in golden light and the driving winds of yesteryear.
Take any season that you like, and what remains
will be cordial enough, if you have been careful
in your loves, they with you. Such endings we prepare
for when time seems kind, such choices we make.

Jane Hoogestraat's book of poems Border States won the 2013 John Ciardi Prize and will be published by BkMk Press in 2014. In addition, she has published in such journals as Elder Mountain, Fourth River, Image, Midwestern Gothic, Poetry, Potomac Review, and Southern Review. She teaches at Missouri State University.

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