Summer of Ninety-Two by Gay Baines


was cold and wet, sending me
into a funk and the hospital.
The Chessboard Killer
in Russia murdered his

first victim. In Florida,
Hurricane Andrew
destroyed a town.
A friend at work

woke up one bright May day
dying. Evening sun
painted the windows
of the funeral parlor.

Then came the summer that
reminded a friend of
living in England:
pails of rain, days

not swimming in the sun
but driving from one doctor’s
office to the next, to the
pharmacy and then home.

It ended with me in
the cardiology ward.
Released after two days
of late August heat,

I swam, finally, but
by then the sun had
slanted away. I don’t think
it ever lighted us again

for the twenty-eight months
we didn’t know
was the rest
of our life together.




Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College.



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