Describing the melancholic end of summer and the promise of fall: a poem
One theme Brynjar Chapman finds himself exploring time and time again in his work is the end of summer—the peculiar and melancholic threshold that exists between end and beginning. As we move deeper into fall, it may benefit us to pause and reflect on this transition. Here, Chapman does just that, meditating on the bittersweet sentiment of another summer passed, with experiences had or missed, lessons learned and connections made.
Brynjar Chapman hails from Toronto, Ont. and is in his fourth year studying creative writing at Concordia.
It’s the last stop on the way out of town
they have everything here!
mugs and hats that say, among other things,
and shirts with proud animals or confederate flags
a room, the room of a thousand knock-off crocs
where, as a dare, we stand until light-headed and about to pass out among the fumes.
It’s fun, everyone says so
and we take pictures
but in the car, with Tom,
our silence has weight
so does the smell later in the front hall
of a familiar house left alone for two weeks.
Just last night he was at the fire and barely out of the light
he was wet-eyed, wine in his hands
having just posted to the Facebook of a dead man
It’s on these nights I miss you most.
I felt for some reason I knew what he was feeling because
earlier, I saw him through the bathroom window
his face was so sincere with red effort,
a face he had never even seen
(unless of course he pooped with a mirror)
and I felt bad that I looked but also nearer to Tom
and glad that he has this place.
In the car I had regrets:
I didn’t jump off the train bridge this year
or I didn’t savour it–the moment before running into the water–
it splashing around my ankles
then the big cold step, the submerge of the crotch
feeling like I’ve accomplished something
but what, exactly? Forget it,
because there’s nothing better than freshwater
and being hungry after a swim
for white bread with meat, and chips.
Because now in the car and at home it’s August
the Sunday of the calendar year
and I don’t have everything in front of me
like on the shore, where a small, long lake held in it,
peed out in secret,
and their collective fear of snapping turtles.
Graphic by Thom Bell