Summer Recessional

Debora Greger

From the last carriage, I watch England go by.
Good-bye, summer, we must go.

Good-bye to that field of barley stubble
we just passed, a blur of worthless gold,

and to that orchard aglow with apples.
Look, the first one has fallen, globe gone sour.

Good-bye, shrunken empire whose sun has set.
Now only the worm of the codling moth will hatch

in the starchy chambers of your decay.
Let it devour whatever sweetness is left.

O empty station, where the train no longer stops!
Had I blinked, I would have missed you.

I’ll miss you, too. Tell me, what are you waiting for?
There is no room in your churchyards for another grave.

O Britannia! Someone’s red coat flutters on the edge
of a flag-shaped field scraped down to the dirt.

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