By Catherine Harnett
The frequent evening storms, the insistent humid
air, tree-frogs’ night-dark calls, crickets in their
deafening routine; and the recurrent want of you.
Our comings, furtive and reckless, recollected,
our taste touch sound; who we were, the you
and I of it, the summer us of it. Against August’s
willful heat, reason stood no chance, the heart
stood no chance against your arrant pull. We were
accustomed to the showy, open-handed roses’
bloom, the season’s lavish yield; we claimed
everything as ours, cocksure it would last. But
the sodden month succumbed to fall; there was
no now, just the once-was. Autumn, the light-thief,
cold-usher, fashioned crepey, wind-dried leaves,
oak and elm, woods conspicuously bare, no longer
our wild Eden. Fall came; frogs were hidden
beneath leaf-litter, rocks, and logs; crickets entered
diapause, yet love could not overwinter; our vine-
green ardor paled; our untended roots betrayed the
lastingness we’d counted on, had no instinct to persist.
So many Augusts since; boisterous gatherings of
frogs and crickets, occasional cicadas; and evenings’
muggy dominance recall the flagrant us; lovesick for
the girl I was, the then of her, the only once of her.
Catherine Harnett is a poet and fiction author originally from New York. Her
work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Much of
Harnett’s inspiration comes from her interest in issues of justice and victimhood,
and what constitutes consent, concerning children and women especially. Two
stories with child protagonists, “Her Gorgeous Grief” and “Off the Face of the
Earth,” were published in the Hudson Review.