Thank you to everyone who participated in our guest writer series for National Poetry Month! To wrap our celebration up, here is a throwback from Jenna Whiting in November 2017 — a free verse on the time of year where we are wishing for cool respite from summer heat. Now, though, let’s hope things warm up again soon before the semester draws to a close…
Oh, how I am so glad to see you, merciful white numbers,
Old friends who haven’t greeted me in a year,
Floating in the stark cerulean sky of the Weather Channel app
That I scroll through, standing next to my dorm window.
Finally, after the summer’s sun overstayed its welcome,
After its warmth encroached onto the calendar squares of October for far too long,
After I thought the humidity would never cease sticking to the streets and to me,
The feeling of fall is finally in full force.
The first time that you appear from your summer hibernation
Is a special day.
I can finally snap open my dorm wardrobe door
And squish the well-worn yarn of my well-loved sweaters between my fingers as I search for the day’s attire.
I can pull on my marshmallow coat and maybe, if I’m lucky enough for the wind to warrant such a treat,
I can wrap a cat’s-ear-soft scarf under my chin and nuzzle into its cloth.
The first emergence into the autumn air from the front doors of Redding,
My sweater and coat and scarf putting forth a valiant effort in the name of warmth,
Is one to be cherished.
Oxygen, cold and crisp as a Granny Smith, enters my nose and invigorates my lungs and mind.
I breathe deeply and cherish the scent of multi-hued leaves
That have erupted throughout campus, making UD’s scenery even more beautiful than before.
I can almost taste them in all their crunchy red and brown and yellow glory.
More deep breaths with each step on the red brick paths
As my hands protest the sudden change of climate,
And I bury them into the pockets that are permanently bitten out of my marshmallow coat.
One of your best traits is your trademark holiday:
Thanksgiving and its accompanying break from school
And family time and pumpkin pie and background-noise football
And the scent of stuffing filling the kitchen and the sparkling cider that is retrieved from the basement shelves,
And curling up in blankets on the couch in front of a movie, tea or hot chocolate steaming beside me.
Thank you for instigating the lighting of candles that pervade my house with the spicy scent of cinnamon,
The fire prancing around the wax like the reindeer that will land on the roof in a month.
“But wait, watch this,” says the fireplace, competing with the candles
That can’t hold a candle to the warmth and size of the wood-fueled inferno,
And the central heating provides a familiar whir as comfy air is pushed through the vents.
I trumpet your magnificence to anyone I can.
“You’re crazy,” they all say. “I love warm weather,” they all say.
Don’t pay attention to them, 42.
You’re the best.
How dare you, Delaware.
I love you, but you’re such a liar, as you always are when it comes to weather.
The warmth is back again,
Not as much as before,
But still here.
But I shan’t worry,
Because the cold will soon return
And settle in
Like a bear in a cave ready to sleep.