Summer’s End

In my youth, summer swept in

She planted a flower for me over yonder

On the hill where I watch for the dawn—

Where bleached bliss and sanitized memories will one day ponder.

In those days the sun was bright

No fear of famine or drought

No cloud in sight as we soaked in the light

No water, no stakes, but rising.

I grew beside a flower with petals

The color of all the greatest journeys

Summer’s sweat—tears from laughter

Summer days—balloons and unanswered worries

And pinwheels spinning like there is no tomorrow

How was I to know this summer would go so fast?

How was I to prepare for autumn’s wrath?

Sanitized urgency, flooding back—

First one, then the final petal turns black—

The fates snuff out your smile—

And the pinwheel’s fire goes out

But you never thought it would stop, did you?

No one was ready for summer’s end.

The boat is still on the dock for another ride

The garden tools are laid out to weed and nurture

Tomorrow I planned to water the flower

Not knowing yesterday was the last time.

But what is it to love the flower

If not to love as if it will never fade away?

What is it to love summer

If not to love without fear of winter?

On this morning the hill is barren

Where the flower once bloomed tall and bright

Now cold dirt is turning to iron

And I dread the first fall of white

The last balloon has drifted away.

And where birds once sang in my heart

Now only the north wind chimes

Where we once looked out to water’s edge

The ice has frozen our final waltz

Where blue skies blanketed baseball games

Now clouds loom, aching with rains’ weight

Which shall only fall late at night when I am alone.

All colors have faded to gray

In a world that took my light away

In darkness, the pinwheel stands still

Frozen in time—as I wish I could be—on summer’s last day.

And at the hilltop, I look down where

The flower petals have left a fading trail

Leading to the place I must not go

Wait for me, flower—

Wherever spring has come again, and summers never end

And it gives you warmth and care.

But I fear I will never see this winter’s demise

For it has claimed my soul’s anchor

And I am one with the north wind’s dagger

I fear I will not last the eternal night.

Tatum Schroeder

Tatum Schroeder is a twenty-something aspiring writer from Rochester, Minnesota. He graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a B.A. in English and has been honing his craft since.

This poem is dedicated to his late sister, Hannah Isabel, who was born on November 28, 2000, and passed from this world on November 28, 2020.

One comment on “Summer’s End

  • Anni
    April 22, 2021 | 11:17 pm

    An absolutely beautiful poem by a wonderful writer for a wonderful soul that was gone too soon.

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *