It was a summer of little rain,
when the rose bushes that grew
beside our paint-scraped porch
collapsed upon themselves
and lost hold of the receding moisture,
shedding their petals
as listless hands drop easy money.
They grew so desperate for life
they lifted their roots from the soil
to masquerade as open palms,
to wait for hot tears to fall
from the homeless thunder-clouds
that drifted by like violent thoughts
on rare, oven-red evenings.
Each time they came
the few of us that still had jobs
sank into a moldy couch left behind
by the porch's previous owners.
A friend of ours would open up
his guitar-case, pull timidly
at the worn-out strings,
and then stop,
saying he didn't feel like it anymore.
We'd sip our beers, little by little,
and watch an incense stick roar
towards its imminent death,
the ashes raining upon the table.
The wind would come and push away
the lightless remains of the fire we had.

Michael Patrick McSweeney runs a discount submarine business out of Boston, MA. His business website can be found at

This is what I saw and heard and felt at the end of the summer of 2010. Having lived in the remote forest of New Hampshire for the majority of the summer, the differences between the "real" world I left behind and the "real" world I encountered upon my return drove me to write this poem.



Copyright 2009