Monday, August 22, 2011


It augurs well. 
There's usually a day in August, following a heavy rain, when fall looks in. I think that might have happened today, or begun to. It was still humid enough to make my hair sweat, but a new breeze was abroad. And still is tonight. Making urgent conversation with the leaves, over the neighbors' air conditioner, in a kind of surflike susurrus. Possibly prepping them on the endgame over the next few months. They say it will rain before dawn. Then become cooler than it's been, maybe. Rumors abound.

Augur could be the name for this time of August-with-a-hint-of-September when we start to look for signs, of which there are plenty. A timeline of flowers, leavetaking of birds, drowsing of trees, oasting of weeds. Then it becomes a bit more pointed, a little more -ember. Call it Auger. Then Amber. The last summer ale. Then it's a whole new project, September, rolling in on a tide of yellow pencils and three-ring filler paper and other taut intimations of, write it on the board, flab quivering under sleeveless arm as chalk moves left to right: M-s S-c-h-o-o-l-b-u-s-s. Is that really her name? Yes, but it's pronounced SHOOL- buss. And anyway, wake up, daydreamer, it's August, still August. A.k.a., Gus, the janitor. How was your vacation, Miz Schoolbus? Fine, Gus. How was yours? It ain't over, Miz Schoolbus. I'm still sweepin' the clouds away. You do that, Gus. Yes, ma'am. (He whistles the old tune down the polished corridor and, can't help himself, breaks into his  Maurice Chevalier imitation: "I don't care what's down below, Let it rain, let it snow, I'll be up on a rainbow, Sweeping the clouds away!"

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