the third of august


August 3 marks seven years since my father died—on the same day that Gracie, our little goofy Schnauzer, died as well.

the third of august

the thing I never really liked
about august is the way the
heat and humidity ride under
my skin making it all but
impossible to be comfortable
I can move from sweaty to
surly because there is no relief

grief is an endless august in
the weather of the heart
an agitating absence a
hot breath of a breeze that
sends sadness seeping out of
every pore even the soft sun
of the morning is ready to burn

it has been seven augusts since
you died early that morning
and I sat in the parking lot
of the nursing home in Waco
my sweat as heavy as my tears
feeling like a fatherless child
a long long way from my home

one might think I would be used
to august by now but I am not
acceptance is not an arrival
I keep living through augusts
with you still under my skin
I will carry your name and your
memory yet another summer



  1. Ahh, Milton. Your dad had a way about him. Of course you can’t “shake” him from your Augusts. None of us can. He just had a way about him that lasts.

  2. To carry a memory though sometimes unbearably heavy is a good thing. I hope you are outside this night of August 2nd. The moon looks full, the clouds are hurrying east on the wind and Hercules is sitting over our houses, if my ap is correct. I have been traveling with my thoughts through time and places while watching the shape shifting clouds pass in the moonlight. Thinking of you, hoping you find a cool breeze to bring comfort. It has helped me.

  3. Ahhhh Milton. I feel the sensory and the spiritual in your poem deeply. I dislike the sweat and the grumpy feelings August brings to me. My mother died on July 15 and I have often wondered if she just had had enough of those heat filled summers? She never liked the heat. She did not face August in 2009. Thank you for your thoughts and for writing them down to share. Maggie

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