SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Summer Music by Diane Hueter

Cicadas sing—

thrum and wheeze

from the mulberry trees,

a row of knotted trunks hugging the fence

between pole beans and dandelion lawn,

the highest, greenest leaves dusty from weeks

of our passing back and forth on the gravel drive.

 

I stand on our unpainted, sagging porch,

holding the baby's cup and her dress,

clean and crisp as Chinese poppies

flaming in a summer portrait.

 

Cicadas begin their song again

as if they had stopped

when the screen door slammed,

stopped and breathed in,

their eyes like orange beads

and their wings like chaff.

 

They sing even within the walls

of my human chest, they sing

in the rooms of my eyes and lungs,

in the struggling chambers of my heart,

and the trembling of the blood in my wrists.

 

When I stand in the sweet humid air

holding a cup of water and a red dress,

I foresee their bodies’ husks

emptied, clinging to the trees,

shells of lace,

I wonder what it will be

for my fragile daughter and me

to shrug our dresses, our skin,

like linen from our shoulders,

confused or blessed by music of our own.


Diane Hueter lives in Lubbock, Texas. She received a BA and MA from the University of Kansas, an MLIS from UT-Austin and a PhD in English from Texas Tech. Her poetry has appeared in Three Rivers, BlueLine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and Concho River Review. Her book, After the Tornado, is available from Stephen F. Austin Press.

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