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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Some Notes on the Three Days of Summer: A Poem

For many people the weather is just a menial form of small talk, but I find it fascinating. I relish the feel of rain dripping down my face and soaking my hair (unless I have someplace important to be), and I cherish each moment of blessed sunshine warming my entire body. I mean, come on, the very name Word Storm should tell you something about my inclination towards weather, particularly in its extremes. 

If there’s one thing the English like to talk about, it’s the weather. Having spent nearly a year studying abroad in England, I’ve experienced plenty of England’s internationally-acclaimed horrid weather. But come on, it’s not that bad, right? A little rain never hurt anybody. But, as Alan Parish (Jumanji) reminds everybody, “Yeah, but a lot can kill you!” Well, as you can see, I’m not dead yet. Key word: yet.

Besides, England is not the only place known for weird weather. Washington State gets rain year-round so that when the sun comes out, locals refer to it as a “sun break.” Missouri has a claim on having bipolar weather. In other words, residents experience four seasons in one week. I kid you not, I got sunburned in January because I was wearing a tank top and had the sunroof down. Then it snowed. So England may not be the only place on earth with odd weather, but it certainly has some. 

One of the most recent examples of English weather I’ve experienced was the brief-lived summer. Being so far north, instead of hot summer days, England gets—you guessed it—rain. But there are times when the sun comes out from behind the clouds. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “three day of summer”. (Never mind that we had a full week of glorious sunshine and that random day in February.) And that’s what this poem is about really—weather. Well, that and bugs and people and bike rides and tea. Lots and lots of tea.


Some Notes on the Three Days of Summer

England is like a sleepy giant, hitting the snooze button again
while the rest of the world is waking from winter.
Just five more days, and suddenly it’s spring,
everywhere it’s green like the nation finally shook itself awake
and downed a cup of Earl gray. It’s a dour May,
but the daisies are alive and doleful, dancing beneath a cloud-streaked sunset.

Suddenly it’s summer—the perfect warm weather to get outside.
I’ve been sunburned in England of all places. #Lifegoals
I should not be punished for actually leaving the flat. 

Where did all these people come from?
Who knew so many resided in the city?
They’re like cockroaches—fair weather friends—
and summertime has disturbed their peaceful rock.

My flat mates call it hot, but my skin knows the difference
between this English sun and an Italian one.
This mild sweat is nothing compared to the blistering heat of the south.
A warm breeze tickles the hair on my bare arms,
and the oak’s shade offers a cool solace.

The only clouds now are the bugs by the river,
thick as thieves. The blasted bugs are pelting my face
as I cycle through them. Help. I’ve inhaled a gnat.
The thing is tickling my sinuses with its tiny little legs.
Getitout-getitout-getitout!

The other day, I sauntered into a café
to meet a girl for afternoon coffee and cake.
Before the sun sank another even’, I curled up on a couch,
a cup of tea in my hands, amongst friends on a movie night.
Finally—finally—I’m not alone.
But why is it people decide to wave hello
just as I’m breaths away from smelling the fresh black ink of my itinerary?

I don’t miss the winter. My spirits soar
as the days stretch before me like a cat before a sunshiny window,
like a dog sprawled out in the flood of light—the ray of death.

Next week’s forecast: rain.

***

Let’s chat! What’s your favorite type of tea? Do you think your hometown has the weirdest weather? If so, why?

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