The Summer That Departs

Summer 1939, even the radio starts to sweat in 

    Pepkin’s family’s room above the Shotwell’s, below 

the Westcott’s arched eyebrows on the 12th, 

    and backed off the beach well enough to stall every 

breeze off Brighton, as Philco’s eleven tubes glower 

    Red the Hour at the Sanhedrin and the Field of Blood 

libel from behind the olivewood escutcheon, tuning 

    Bakelite hex dials police band squeals, shortwave 

hails from the old country, WJR coughs Golden Hour 

    Little Flower crusades importing sacrificial wine 

from Rhineland Mass, NBC Blue Network gives 

    cathedral chassis the Jell-O shakes, resonating 

voices of Mary Rochester Phil and Don, and sweat 

    beads on wooden cabinet start to run as Jack 

Benny’s kvetch begins, and the whole family gathers 

    round, trying to catch within, before marching 

drowns the sound, the voice of Ben Kubelsky.

Posted for dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Sun, Sand, Storms, and Celebrations: Summer Ekphrastic
hosted by Merril,

My ekphrastic poem is inspired by Summer Day, Brighton Beach by Edward Henry Potthast

10 thoughts on “The Summer That Departs

  1. Trying to catch Jack Benny in his native voice before the armies commence rolling is akin to glorying in a Potthast seascape while the waters consume the coast. A tad obscene, but who’s to blame? Fire up Auschwitcz, the water’s great.

  2. You’ve captured a moment in time–I can imagine this family gathered around the radio sweating in the heat, with the war in Europe looming.

    “below
    the Westcott’s arched eyebrows on the 12th, “

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