Issue Sixteen - April 2010

End of Summer

By Julia Klimek

Sitting in a children’s circle, one began: 
“I am going on a trip, and I am packing into 
My suitcase … an apple.” And the second child 
Repeated, added.

After the first round, it’s hard.
Memories pile up: games, trips, 
Items packed. Today I will take,
Bundled and wrapped, these things, or those
(All memorable):

Apples and swimming trunks and toothbrushes and
Trickier things, like elephants, the kind 
Children wish to pack or at least remember until 
The next round. And laugh about having forgotten:
How could you forget the elephant?

The measure of the elephant appears 
As a fixed point 
That helpfully defines:
This rock weighs as much as; this bulldozer
Can move the equivalent of 
— I think you remember.

Elephants are worth packing and remembering. 
Imagine a herd of zebras, to keep them
Company, but always running off over 
The late afternoon hills toward dusk.
Vultures take care of the straggler
Quickly forgotten.
Sunsets are worth 
Packing, but how to remember 
Them? This orange swirl
Or that metallic-laced cloud, there: God’s finger pointing down – 
Forget especially the effort of remembering,

The way memories pile up, and weariness, 
Response to trafficking with the past or getting 
Caught before the future, and
The weight of the elephant, carried
Through the rounds.

Copyright Julia Klimek 2010