It’s the last day of August, the shortest month of the year. August seems to start slowly, seductively, redolent of summer- blasting heat and cool drinks- and ends abruptly in nostalgia and school. At the beginning of the month you are immersed in summer but in a wink you are exclaiming to perfect strangers “Where did the summer go??” Hence: the shortest month of the year (the longest month being February). Of course, at 60+, August skitters by faster than ever. Here’s a poem by Philip Larkin that helps us say goodbye to August.
My mother, who hates thunder storms
Holds up each summer day and shakes
It out suspiciously, lest swarms
Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there;
But when the August weather breaks
And rains begin and brittle frost
Sharpens the bird-abandoned air,
Her worried summer look is lost.
And I her son, though sumer-born
And summer-loving, none the less
Am easier when the leaves are gone
Too often summer days appear
Emblems of perfect happiness
I can’t confront: I must await
A time less bold, less rich, less clear:
An autumn more appropriate.