Sleep in Summer
by Kerry Hardie
Light wakes us - there's the sun
climbing the mountains' rim, spilling across the valley,
finding our faces,
It is July,
between the hay and the harvest,
a time at arm's length from all other time,
the roads ragged with meadowsweet and mallow,
with splays of seedheads, slubbed and coarse, rough linen.
The fields above the house, clotted with sheep all spring,
are empty now and froth with flowering grasses,
still in the morning light. Birds move around
the leafy fields, the leafy garden.
It is the time
to set aside all vigil, good or ill,
to loosen the fixed gaze of our attention
as dandelions let seedlings to the wind.
Wake with the light,
Get up and go about the day and watch
its surfaces that brighten with the sun.
Remark the weight of your hands,
your foot in its sandal,
the lavender's blue hum.
And later, when the light is drowsed and heavy
go find the burdened fruit trees where the shade
lies splashed and opened-out across the ground.
Spread over it a quilt worn soft by other bodies,
then curl and fall down into sleep in light.
Awaken to a world of long, loose grass-stems,
and leaves above,
and birds, breaking out of the leaves.