Suddenly it was Summer. So preoccupied was I with morbid haunts of age and dissolution that I forgot to look up from my fruitless labors to see the birds who when last I paid attention, flapped their wings in a courtship display. They were snugged down now on their nests in the leafed out treetops and the boys of Summer batted on the lawn.

When I was young I hated summer- in an endless nightmare staged on sweat soaked sheets, my blood inacted merciless imagining of a life just out of reach. I burned without respite until only sweat and ashes marked the spot where I had been.

Suddenly I was too old to sweat. There was nothing left to burn.

I picked up a handful of dirt from the row where knee high corn grew gigantic in the heat and dust of mid-day and smelled it, trying to remember what it was like once, when I, no taller than a cornstalk, prowled leaf shadowed rows as I sought the secret center of the field. Or when, later in the season, pollen dusted beneath the house high stalks I watched ladybugs crawl to the tassel top towers and spread their orange spotted wings to the sun. The memories are like brittle, faded photographs.

Or was it me?