125 degrees on a sunny day

I was born in Mississippi,
where heat is different,
not just a topic of conversation,
or an inconvenience,
it is a thing,
an oppressive, all-encompassing
a wet sauna towel
wrapped around you all day.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes

I spent four summers in Florida,
heat there is movement,
it washes ashore with the waves
to scorch the sand,
becoming a violent spectacle
a convulsion of thunder, rain
and electricity,
the rut and fire of every sudden tryst
played out overhead.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes
inside a parked car

Georgia is home now.
Heat here is a young woman
playing games with her new
teasing you into pursuit
and anticipation…making you wait…
then stunning you with her
fire and ferocity,
each encounter breathtaking and sultry.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes
inside a parked car
with no escape



A trial began here this week of a man
accused of intentionally leaving his 22 month old son
in a hot car to die. The evidence suggests he spent at least
part of the time the child was in the car
sexting with teenage girls.



Filed under Poetry

11 responses to “Heat

  1. I keep trying to understand why. What possesses people to do these things. And the more I read stories like this, the harder it gets to assume that all people are basically good. I think some are just evil. Turned evil, wouldn’t go back. Evil’s alive and well.

  2. Kerry O'Connor

    Before I read your back story, I marvelled at how well your conveyed the growing heat, the personal experience of it had me sweating. After reading your explanatory note, I am left appalled by the utter contempt of life displayed by one who must be labelled ‘father’. Your protest rings out loudly. I hear it.

  3. I really enjoyed your perfect descriptions of heat…I lived in AZ in the hot sauna desert heat that has changed to humid heat….I’ll take my winter!

  4. I have experienced a summer in Arizona… and yes I do remember it, but there was always a place I could escape to… so chilling that anyone would leave their child in a car to die… a great buildup in those intermingled stanzas.

  5. Oh. I enjoyed the differing moods of the heat in your poem, and was stricken by the note at the end about the man leaving his child in the car to die. While he texted. Sadly, humankind has lost its way. If it ever found it to begin with. Oh my goodness. Your poem, however, is quite wonderful.

  6. almost sounds like the blues

  7. Interesting to first read the poem & then read the back story. I would never have guessed the back story. The whole situation is appalling & so sad… Heat should not get in the way of fatherhood.

  8. I like how you compared heat to a wet sauna towel.
    Beautifully expressed.

    Lots of love,

  9. Wow…what a stunning contrast you paint here between heat that is escapable and heat that is not….heat that one is powerlessly subjected to by another person’s selfishness.

  10. The note changed the whole perspective of the poem and left me appalled…

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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