Pat Jones


The downward slope of summer modulates
the angle of our pleasures as it trains
reluctant eyes upon the lower plains,
where imminent nostalgia coolly waits.
Still coddled by a kind and lofty light,
we toast the sunset earlier each day,
like open-faced sunflowers that betray
a naïve over-ripeness in their height.

We’re past peak season for the kind of heat
that met with merciless humidity
in waves that drained our bodies and the land —
but this deliverance is bittersweet:
we clutch our sweating glasses of iced tea
as tightly as we’d grasp a mother’s hand.


Jean L. Kreiling teaches music at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, and previously taught English at Western Carolina University; she has given presentations on music and poetry at scholarly conferences. Her award-winning poetry has appeared in several print and on-line journals, including Ekphrasis, The Evansville Review, The Formalist, The Pennsylvania Review, and SLANT.