Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 10 . . .

What I Can Offer You

     by S. Thomas Summers

Dark as chocolate, the mulch

I’ve spread between the house

and a rock border, the fallen

forsythia petals that spice

the grass near the driveway’s edge -

golden even as they die.

Like a beggar, I scavenge for rocks

in a maple’s shade, where ticks

congregate in tufts of grass,

extol the joys of blood and sugar

as I lay stones in a wheelbarrow -

a cluster of sleeping turtles.

There are mornings when I look

from the kitchen window, wonder

if the stones have found their

legs, fled to new silt and sun;

but they’re content to sink

into earth just as I sink into the depths

of a coffee mug and a couch cushion.

The fair petals that drift beneath

your car are easily swept away.

S. Thomas Summers is a teacher of Writing and Literature at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Death Settled Well (Shadows Ink Publications, 2006) and Rather, It Should Shine (Pudding House Press, 2007). His poems have appeared in several literary journals and reviews: The English Journal, MiPoesias, 2River View, The Pedestal Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, and others. Currently, Summers is completing a volume of American Civil War poetry: Private Hercules McGee: Poems of the Civil War.

Summers also leads workshops for high school and middle school English teachers. His workshops focus on the power of contemporary poetry to spark literary interest in uninterested/unmotivated students. He recently presented his ideas at the New Jersey Language Arts and Leadership Association's Spring Conference.

S. Thomas Summers can be contacted regarding his poetry and workshops at He lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and children.

© 2008 S. Thomas Summers