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Summer syllables

Today I heard the season's first cicada,

what we call locust here, its level buzz

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holding all the good past summers' data

in one long, sizzling syllable, as does

on languid days, a slammed screen door

tell of flypapers, dusty roads, and the shade

of apple trees and porches - and the smell

of new-cut hay, the taste of lemonade,

the whine of gnats, the scat of cat birds

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tell of swimming holes and baseball cards to trade,

of streams to fish and berries by the quart

tell of swarming bees, of beans to shell,

of sleeping dogs and roses - tell, in short,

of all that was, in one sweet brief report!

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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