Preparing for Aestivation

Today’s warm breeze
is not the first sign, of course,
it started weeks ago
when the clocks moved forward
and the sun shifted,
when I folded my favorite sweater for the last time
and the wide windows welcomed
the cacophony of spring sounds —
motorbikes, lawnmowers, chainsaws, barking dogs,
the hammering, hammering, hammering —
soon the shimmery waves of heat
will rise from the pavement,
the mass throngs of people will
congest on sidewalks, beaches,
street corners, town parks,
the hallowed trail I call Heaven,
and the endless days will unfold
hour by hot, humid, buggy hour
while I stock up on iced things,
hoard stacks of library books,
move to the cooler part of the house,
give praise to the window machine
beneath which I’ll spend the months
dreaming of those long and silent winter days,
their fertile ground for contemplation
and undisturbed peace.

Aestivation is a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, although taking place in the summer rather than the winter. It is characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions. Image: Snailhouse by Raiskina Marina. Poem ©2023, Jen Payne.

5 replies on “Preparing for Aestivation”

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