stella graham-landau :: just be present ::


Southern Legitimacy Statement: i have a snarly relationship with the south. i was born in richmond moved to south carolina back to richmond then north carolina back to richmond stint in ohio back to richmond. always here in spite of my ambivalence. where confederate generals are finally surrendered to storage in the water treatment lot while trader joe and farmers’ markets entice the new carpetbaggers moving here from around the world. where mosquitoes joyously celebrate summer, and snow falls sparsely and reluctantly in winter. the stuff of endless humidity and poems.

just be present

i hear fall coming
pushing summer’s surrender
off the calendar page
glasses of iced tea deposit
final sets of water rings
on tabletops
soon we will close the windows
open the oven door
let the heat escape into the room
bread perfume
wafts in the air
autumn glitter sifts
through dangling branches
the world spins to shorter days
i gather garden tools
trade hoe for rake
pick the last brave cucumber
pull papery lantern skins from tomatillos
scooped off the ground
our dogs grow winter coats
the hummingbird leaves without a sound
the seasons change
nothing is required of me