August on Lake Michigan


August is Lake Michigan’s way
of clearing boats from her bays
and bonfires from her beaches,
the month when cottage owners
give up the idea of staining the deck
and call painters who vaguely promise
to look at the job after Labor Day –
an elaborate, necessary fiction
understood by painter and owner alike.

“How much longer ‘ya up here?”
is the talk at August gatherings,
while glum shopkeepers post signs
proclaiming END OF SEASON SALE
and lower prices to full retail.

August’s big waves and wind
chase off all but the fortunate few
and now the lake can rest.
Now she gathers strength to face
November’s fearsome roar.

Lake Michigan kicking up her heels.

lake dragons call out
tracking their mates with a song
freighters in the fog


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Come back for a new poem every Monday.

Joseph Neely, all rights reserved