Literary Hook: Poem pays tribute to ‘Indian Summer’, in all its glory

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Indian summer is that delightful time of sunshine after the first hard frost. Here in northern Illinois, we really appreciate this time of year, so please enjoy this poem celebrating this unique time of year.

Indian Summer

—for Jane Kenyon (who wrote “Let Evening Come”)

Let Indian Summer blaze through brown grass blades.

Let it ripple around all that is gold:

field corn drying on stalks,

all the russet maiden grass on plains,

the amber seed heads of goldenrod and aster.

Let Indian Summer come.

Let it come burning the sun’s last hot rays.

to the red pony’s black, muddy hooves,

to the pink snouts of possums asleep behind logs,

to fuzzy fountain grasses swaying in prairies.

Let Indian Summer come.

Let it come whispering on tabby cat whiskers,

tippling moss-coated trunks of maples,

shimmering on small, red crab apples in meadows,

landing on looping groups of cedar waxwings

as they huddle on trees near the river’s edge.

Let Indian Summer come.

Let it arc over Rock River bluffs and castle rocks,

over every circling bird of prey.

Let it glint from the eagle’s chartreuse eye

and glimmer from the red hawk’s splayed tail.

Let it soar wide as the vulture’s black wingspan.

Let Indian Summer come.

Let it come in full head-dress, thundering.

Let it drum full color on leaves,

rattling and shaking fall’s last tassels.

Let it shout. Let it whoop and whirl.

All creatures deserve one final dance in the sun.

So let Indian Summer come.

This poem was first published in Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity, Wind Publications.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet.

From the Nov. 3-9, 2010 issue

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