Youth Never Cared About the Wilting


August falls on us with its itchy wool sweater
of dusty days and we wonder if hell laughs at our discomfort. 

We tire of being a prisoner of a grouchy month
that burns color from our garden as if pink
was an insult to the brown yarn of dead stems.

What irony to have chosen so many years ago
this very month to have our wedding, but youth
never cared about the wilting, only the dream.

Thank goodness August has never been able to
sacrifice love to its temper or toss two hearts
onto its pyre to burn passion into ash.

Oh dear husband we’ve weathered so much,
so many Augusts have walked across calendars. 
Within the shrewish breath of drought we still thrive.

Love is a garden that grows even when 
the gardener’s only tools are boxes of matches. 

©Susie Clevenger 2023

My husband, Charlie, has just begun treatment for Multiple Myeloma.
 Like every August since that first one in 1970 we will walk this August together.