Poet’s Corner: ‘The countdown’


The countdown
By Donald Nitchie

These are the days we counted
down to summer, sliding sweat
off upper lips with the
backs of our hands.
The second hand swam
up its side of the clock
but it wasn’t time.
Summer beckoned
from the end of every street,
from behind walls,
from inside trees.
Sidewalks baked
and lawn mowers droned
while behind our small desks
we daydreamed of candy
and backyard pools.
Out the windows
afternoons crawled by
as if they’d never end.
Summer called
like an ice cream truck
on a nearby block.
And when the countdown
finally ticked down, rung in
by the last bell on the last day
of class, blackboards washed
and erasers put away,
we marched out the doors
as if our pockets were filled
with money.

Donald Nitchie’s poetry has been published by Cape Cod Review, Martha’s Vineyard Arts & Ideas, and “The Further Shore: Exploring Cape Cod and the Islands Through Poetry” (2021). For the past several years he has led “Poetry Drop-In,” in-class writing sessions through the Island libraries — check their calendars. He lives in Chilmark.

Poets with a connection to Martha’s Vineyard are encouraged to submit poems to curator Laura Roosevelt at ldroosevelt@gmail.com.