It has only been a few days
Since school ended
In a flurry of hugs
And dashed goodbyes
With a box full of flowers
To take home
To turn my dining room table
Into a garden

I still wake to my 5:30 alarm
Each day
And my cats crying
To be fed
It takes a few minutes
Each day
To realize
I don’t need to get up
Just yet

And still
I do
And make a pot of coffee
That I may or may not
Drink while it’s hot
Or may leave to wait
For ice and sugar
In the lazy afternoon

I’m not quite sure yet
What to do with myself
With no schedule to keep
And no students to teach
And my summer tutoring
Not yet begun

This betwixt and between
Of endings and beginnings
Is unsettling

And although it has only
Been a few days since
The final bell,
The flowers from their hearts
Are already beginning to wilt
In my dining-room garden

Is summer going to
Be this fast and
Go by in a whoosh
Ending in a wilted garden?

Or will I miss it while I’m
Still one-foot-in-school
And not quite ready to
Fully relax

And yet …
I somehow manage
To spend each day
In the delightful in-betweenness
Of not-quite-summer-yet

Where the birdsong
Greets me
And my easel is always
In arm’s reach
On the patio
Where I watch the sunshine
Dance on the bricks
While my cats play,
Thinking it is just for them

As cats are want to do

Or I may read
An entire book
In one day
And I write whenever
I want to
Which is pretty much
All the time
Or at least
Bits of every day
Throughout the day

And my first
“I miss you, Mrs. Gurney”
Emails have begun to arrive
In my inbox
To lift my heart

Along with confirmations
Of plane tickets for
Trips home
And trips to see friends
And concert tickets galore
Because I can

And so
Summer pulls me in
To the magical space
Of suspended time
When every day
Is the weekend
And time
Is amorphous

Summer alights

And I am able to
Be spontaneous and
Walk with a friend to the lake
And sit on the bench
To catch up
And on her patio to drink
Hand-tied tea balls
That bloom into flowers
In the boiling water
Right before our eyes

And the scent of lilacs
Hangs in the air
As I meander
Into summer

Jennifer Gurney lives in Colorado where she teaches, paints, writes and hikes. She is a newly published poet, at age 59, with over 100 poems in print thus far. Jennifer has also published commentary about poetry. During the pandemic she joined the online poetry community of The Daily Haiku.