Cinematic Summer

by Bruce McRae


In this next scene it’s perpetual summer.
The actress known as mother
has been seventeen all her life.
She’s stood on a dock in the sun,
the mark of youth an ineffaceable blessing.
For the moment.
Sunlight dapples the lake’s waters
in various silvers and greys,
a warm wind’s many hands
all over her sundress, all through her hair.
It’s just after the war
and the actor in the father’s role
has yet to make his guest appearance,
his roguish grin yet to work its charm,
the wedding of the cat and dog a distant event,
the rest of the script penciled in,
the writer drunk with the passage of time,
the extras improvising glib ad libs,
chewing the scenery, swallowing their lines.
In the background, barely visible, a swimmer
is struggling to keep his head above the surface.
Eighty years hence and we applaud as he drowns.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with poems published in hundreds of magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. The winner of the 2020 Libretto prize and author of four poetry collections and seven chapbooks, his poems have been broadcast and performed globally.

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