August in Escalon Jennifer Lagier Poetry

local_library August in Escalon

by Jennifer Lagier

Published in Issue No. 16 ~ September, 1998

Here in the land of
churches and gas stations,
we move sparingly and slow
in the simmering heat.

Peach fuzz rises with the sun.
Days, over-exposed and glittering,
melt into the same twenty four hours
of recycled white noise.
Asphalt softens like canal bank mud
around concrete malls.

Outside, roses cremate
themselves colorless;
blackbirds haven’t the energy
to flap or complain.

A slow freight screams,
drags itself toward the cool Pacific,
steel and grease churning
along burning rails.

I sweat, leaning into the open vents
of a straining swamp cooler,
pregnant, nineteen and newly married,
breathless in some dark corner,
wondering how the hell
we ever made it this far.

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Jennifer Lagier's work has appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in the latest issue of The Patterson Literary Review, Generation To Generation, At Our Core: Women Writing About Power, Prayers To Protest: Poems That Center And Bless Us, and New To North America: Writings By U.S. Immigrants, Their Children And Grandchildren (Burning Bush Publications, 1998), as well as several dozen others.