Poet's Corner


August Sounds

A best thing about summer

is having the windows open,

hearing the outside in every room,

breezes lightly wafting

or humidity heavily settling.

Everything feels connected;

birds, stars, crickets, and moon

Just when I’ve grown accustomed to the

sounds, no longer note sunset traffic

leaving the beach, morning bicycle riders

speaking in loud voices, or wild turkey

clucking on the wall, my aural world abruptly


Today the Obamas arrived here to vacation!

David and I, descending the steps

to our driveway, were met

by a cavalcade of black SUVs,

ambulances and press cars, sandwiched

between four state troopers hunched

on motorcycles, roaring up North Road.

At the bottom of the stairs,

the motorcade was close but never slowed.

Heavily tinted closed windows hid who was

inside. I could not stop myself from waving

and giving them a thumbs up, overcome

with excitement, embarrassment and pride

in my old tee shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.

David stayed behind in the shade, shirtless,

arms crossed over his bare chest

respectful to the First Family

catching him in his Saturday best.

Now the procession of Presidential cars

always alerts my ear.

I feel the pace of their comings and goings

in a subconscious rhythm that seems

a part of summer sound in August

again this year. President Obama, Michelle,

Sasha, and Malia speeding past my house —

could it ever be routine?

My deepest self worries while they are here.

My stomach flutters at a siren’s sound.

The Vineyard seems too open

and vulnerable. Too many places

not to be found.

Here to escape Presidential reality

amid trees, meadows, ocean, free time.

A paradise protected from global strife;

an oyster containing a precious pearl.

Not at all like my life where having

the windows open is enough

to connect me to the outside world.

Margaret Emerson

Since retiring as a professor of nursing at Northeastern University, Margaret lives in Chilmark where she pursues her passion for painting and poetry.