The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Today is Cool for July

Today is cool for July,
a harbinger of fall?

My car runs smoother,
and my mind.
back into June
tempers, thoughts and skins
were seared and scorched.

Each day
a thunderstorm was forecast
and anxiously each day
we roved the sky by eye
praying for black sheep
among the normal flock
of docile clouds.

Although agnostic,
while wilting with them,
we prayed
for our trees and crops
If there was to be relief
solace from the heavens,
it would have to come from up.

we surpassed,
our expectation
of our own boiling point.
We lived, we lingered,
we cooked and stewed,
growing more afraid
of imminent explosion.
Though it seemed a fuse was lit
each day did not explode,
nor we.

Alcohol didn’t comfort
we could not get drunk.
Without that aid
we could not approach
our cooler fantasies.

Last night
the nightly thunderstorm
was once again predicted.
We pleaded with raised eyes.
Once more it never came,
but this time sent a proxy.
The clouds became the shade
of churning bruises
stirred by an upper wind
not quite reaching us,
a mystery of the weather.

The night turned cool,
though not quite chilly.
Fans went off, blankets on.
Hot squabbles on retiring
turned into cuddling
before the dawn.

No water yet,
but the steam is gone.
The world seems cleaner, clearer,
though still dusty and unwashed
not the place we lived in yesterday.
If this were really fall
we might feel cheated,
shortchanged of our full year
despite our bitching
at its extremes.

Though imperfect
this is better,
no fear of winter in it.
Closer to the path
I meant to take
before the oven
blistered time
and hobbled me

This day’s detached
and all things in it.
The sun’s a rather different sun,
the sky a somewhat better sky.
I see the world afresh
with a slightly clearer eye.

It might seem the earth
if viewed from hell
would seem as much a heaven
as heaven seems to us from here.

L32 ®Copyright 1966 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.