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Notes from Mid-July - Mariah Madigan

Summer blooms more slowly than spring

I check the blossoms in the afternoon

discover they have turned to fruit.

This year we stay at home: this summer it’s mid July and we haven’t

haven’t started our Air Conditioner.

This year the water boils over. We all watch

and make signs

I put an old teddy bear in our front window.

I tell my body “move,” I write it

In my calendar each morning but

I’m in the mood for rebellion.

Instead, I admire all the things that have traveled,

settled into the sand brown of my living room carpet.

Heat stalks the air above me it but won’t stoop

As low as I have.

I check the math at one or two in the afternoon;

deaths, missing and detained children,

I think; how has the summer

spared me?

In August I will walk near the tracks, the sun

warming the Blackberries and it will smell

like the railroad company is selling jam.

Last night we watched Hiroshima Mon Amour and Night and Fog

I saw boils and burns that were real. I saw bodies being pushed into graves.

And that was after liberation. That was a tractor of the allies. I thought

how easy it is to compare this to today

I thought how hard it is to stop

I thought: I am in my bed and all those babies are not.

I leave the window open at night, the one

right next to my head. I’m not afraid of anything

Other than the entire world.


Mariah Madigan is a passionate childcare worker and writer based out of NE Portland, OR. She spends her free time adventuring the Pacific Northwest with her big, happy dog, Odessa.

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