Plums
Jane O. Wayne

Plums

            I wondered if there were going to be
            any more summers.

                        -Patrick Modiano

Remember the laundry on the line—
shirts hanging in a row,
            the days of the week
made visible in the wind,

and no one counting.
            Summer stretched out—
long days an abundance, more plums
on the tree than one could pick.

How solid, too, the garden seemed—
            trees and hedges stone-sturdy
as the lantern by the path,
and the brick house a constant

where each morning,
rolling up the shade, I felt the pull
            lessening, heard the reassurance
of the ratchet-snap

as another day sprawled
before me in the heat. No detours then,
            just the right-of-way through
fields without fences—plenty of time

to wander, to daydream
without a thought for later,
            for pulling down the shade
that bracketed our waking hours.

Jane O. Wayne

has published four poetry collections: Looking Both Ways, which received the Devins Award for Poetry; A Strange Heart, which received the Marianne Moore Prize and the Society of Midland Authors Award; From the Night Album; and The Other Place You Live. Her work has appeared in such magazines as Baltimore Review, Cincinnati Review, Poetry, Iowa Review, and Southern Poetry Review.