soaking in summer, an ode

the season changes formally,
but all around
in sky
and sights, smells
its already begun -

air in the mornings
that bites at the nose
as I empty out yesterday's tea leaves,

white crosses on the horizon
from planes flying overhead,

fogged window panes,
and the whiff of smoke at dusk,

small displays around the house
of what bright flowers we can find,

warmth of our bed,
that much harder to get out of -

a last collection of blackberries and dropping apples,
and growing anticipation for the green persimmons,
not yet ripe,

and I find myself staring at my uncle's beautiful life drawing - showing a woman catching the sun of her bare skin as she reclines against mattress and flamboyant wallpaper... in a curious way it sums up the summertime in france for me: the green backdrops, calm faces, a different side of the sun - somehow gentler, precious, fleeting.

yesterday evening as we walked home from the station I caught a sight of my neighbour on his sun-drenched balcony; sleeves and pants rolled up, sunglasses on, sitting in a plastic fold out chair, soaking... I think I saw a smile too.

a little reminder perhaps, to catch a last soak of the season while we can.