“Vacation’s End” by Wendy Breuer

Wendy Breuer


Already the shasta daisies look
like Catholic schoolgirls after recess,
the starch gone out of their skirts.
Blanket flowers and coreopsis hang,
heads heavy, hungover with seeds,
and Bermuda grass has crowded back
into every crevice. In June,
stalks of lilies and foxgloves
stretched and lengthened, buds
ready to let loose
but now they’re opened
and spent in the dry heat
of August, a part of summer,
but truly a separate season—
the season of panic,
of ornamental shrubbery
past pruning, past order,
overrun by returning chaparral,
depleted by drought,
your carefully constructed landscape
almost lost, like your parents
who’ve grown too old
and your children
who’ve scattered.

from Rattle #19, Summer 2003


Wendy Breuer: “In my poetry, I seek unexpected conjunctions and disjunctions found in everyday life, the confusions of being many things to many people: someone’s parent, someone else’s child, lover, nurse, wife, friend, caught between now and the past. Somehow, poem by poem, I begin to untangle all these knotted strands.”

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