by Ashley David
The dog is curled up at my feet, just close enough to worry me that her paws might get tangled up in the rocker if I’m careless. The fan is spinning overhead. The Thermacell is emitting toxic fumes to repel the gazillion mosquitoes that populate my world, and it’s hot, hot, humid August on my porch in Athens, Georgia, where classes have already started and summer is officially over. But, not for me. Although my to-do list is long and daunting, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I am reading MQR for fun. So what if summer’s over.
So what if I want it bad? Lilah Hegnaugher asks me in the first line of her poem, “Something in Between,” and I pause to agree with her spirit of defiance. Her voice grabs me and justifies my own resistance to ending summer when summer still seems patently obvious. I resist the arbitrary date in my calendar that tells me that a shift has occurred. I am in between official summer and official fall, refusing to leave the former and embrace the latter until the shift feels right. Like the speaker in Hegnaugher’s poem, I defiantly grab what I think is still mine. Then I settle in and read on until the cicadas crank up, and the whining dog announces that it’s supper time. Until it feels right to put the book down for a bit and attend to other things.
So what about you? What lengths will you go to claim your place and space to read? What mental and scheduling gymnastics do you perform to carve out of your overly full life, the option and opportunity to read for fun?