I know summer is only beginning, but this poem had a story it wanted to tell me now, so I hope you’ll forgive me jumping the gun.

The Last Days of Summer

Hillary and Suzanne sat
in high-back wicker chairs,
sipping tea and slathering scones
with clotted cream and strawberries
in a most ladylike fashion,
just as their mother had taught them.
The last days of summer were upon them.
The sun was warm enough to melt 
the cream and chocolates,
but the gentle breeze that lifted
the sweet scent of flowers in the air
kept them from perspiring,
which would not have been 
ladylike at all.

Suzanne sighed heavily.
She knew she shouldn't indulge
in anymore sweets, 
but she couldn't help herself. 
She decided not to take sugar
in her next cup of tea as penance.

Hillary thought Suzanne was overly dramatic
with her sighs and heaving bosom;
she reminded her of the heroines
in the Romance novels they both read.
Hilary preferred a good mystery,
but they tried to combine the two
so both could enjoy discussions that would follow.

Suzanne glanced across the palatial gardens
that their great-grandmother's gardeners
had planted and worked unceasingly to maintain.
Hilary and Suzanne didn't have the funds
to keep gardeners as permanent staff,
but they did have landscapers come by weekly
so it didn't fall into complete ruin.
She sighed again.
“It's the end of summer. 
The last of the roses are dying.
It won't be long before we're gone with them.”
Hillary tsked in a most unladylike fashion.
“Don't be ridiculous. You're not that old!
I'm not dying and neither are you.”

Suzanne didn't seemed cheered.
The wistful look in her eyes told Hillary
stronger measures would be required.

Hillary demurely poured more tea,
adding an extra lump of sugar in Suzanne's.
“I heard from the Vicar that Emily Bishop's
Corgi has a new litter of pups.
I thought we might ask about adopting one?”
“A Corgi? Like the Queen's? Oh, could we, please?”
Suzanne bubbled like freshly poured champagne.
Things would be all right now;
no more melancholy meanderings from her sister.

“Then I'll ring Emily after tea.”
Hillary put another scone on Suzanne's plate,
adding a healthy dollop of rose petal honey,
which was Suzanne's absolute favorite.
These may be the last days of summer,
but summer would come again soon.

Elise Skidmore ©2023

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  1. I love this. There’s a melancholy song with a very similar title that is one of my favorites. The way the two take care of each other is beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. It’s been running around in my brain for the past couple of days and today it finally worked its way through.