Dog Days: the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun, the hottest time of the year in ancient Greece, a time that could bring fever or disaster. A period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
Dog Days At the Farmstand
As I pull in, I notice in the car next to
mine a barking white poodle, and I worry
about him in the heat, then note the dog’s
owners have left the car’s air-conditioning
on while they harvest the many bins.
This farmer grows it all on his own fields
which stretch out behind this elongated shed—
acres of corn, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage,
cucumbers, basil, peppers, and more—his
tables overflowing with succulent summer.
And at the end of the wooden stands, bakery
shelves behind glass display muffin-tops,
fresh blueberry pies, turnovers. I succumb to
a cranberry-orange muffin-top, plan to eat it
in the car before I even get home.
It’s a surreal scene, rows of masked people
wandering up and down the aisles, served
by masked teenagers toting up the costs
with a pencil on a little pad. No high-tech
here except for the charge-card skimmer.
Suddenly it’s August, and we have plunged
into the dog-days—not named as I thought for
the days overheated dogs lie around panting on
lawns or driveways, but rooted in the ancient
Greek beliefs about Sirius rising in the heavens.
Fever, disaster, lethargy, inactivity, or indolence—
yes, all of these are with us this pandemic summer,
yet home now, I unload my fresh corn, green beans,
Jersey tomatoes, and cucumbers, and rejoice as I
shuck my two young ears of sweet white corn!
© copyright 2020 Penny Harter