By Richard Cecil

Featured Art: Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer) by Claude Monet

November is the time between conviction
and sentencing, when you’re still out on bail.
You’re sort of free, pending the rejection
of your appeal, but you are bound for jail.
There’s no point pleading that your weren’t guilty
of stealing pleasure from warm summer air—
you were caught, grinning, on camera. The penalty
is ninety days in winter’s prison. Unfair!
I only did what everybody does
when tempted irresistibly to strip
wool socks and parkas off and take a dip
in summer heat. You can’t tell bees, “don’t buzz.”
November shrugs in answer to your pleas:
Ninety days for you. Death for the bees.

Richard Cecil‘s latest book is Twenty First Century Blues (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004). He teaches at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Originally published in NOR 6

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