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The Summer that the Hawks Came



The hot, sick heat descended fast

Too early, with no Spring.

It was the summer that the hawks came 

And made themselves known to me.


It was then we took notice

Of how little

We looked up

At the sky


It came just as we had enough money

To buy the expensive shampoo

In the green bottle.


It was instantaneous.

My youth sealed up,

Stamped in red wax.


The babies that we made

So that we wouldn’t leave this Earth

Never knowing true love 

Beat their wings despite.

They are already gone.


Beware -- the doors and the windows are locked.  

We are told to hold still

Until further notice.


The sun and air now take sips of your strength:

The price of admission.


Just when we started using the shampoo 

In the green bottle.

JULIE ALDEN CULLINANE is an employee at the Geriatric Division of Brown University's School of Public Health. 

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