The Summer After the Summer of 2020

by Connie Zumpf


Think of us all          together          planted

in the same summer garden      

snugged in a circle of weatherworn chairs               

yellow          orange          pink          blue        

heads bent in close          spokes on a wheel

inhaling communal air without fear          blowing rings      

over round cups of bittergreen tea

currents of scent stir in ribbons around us

peony          sage          rose.

Oh, how a body craves the spark          from a body          in the flesh       

sharing breath           from everyone’s words 

to see all of you          and all          

of you          and you

watch how you tap your feet          shift your weight

hunch forward          lean into my space         

look straight on          at me          so I know

we are riding the kite of our confab together                                            

rising          looping          diving.             

We brush elbows and hands          passing lemon          honey          rum         

to embellish our brew         

draw idle swirls with our spoons         

metal clinks on china rims          shiver of chimes from the linden tree

take in         each other        

never taking together for granted again

curls of steam from our drinks         cinnamon          cardamom

sharp and sweet on our tongues.



Connie Zumpf lives and writes in Denver, Colorado where she is a longtime member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared in New Ohio Review, North American Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, The Christian Century, I-70 Review, and other publications. Educated as a developmental psychologist, her poems explore themes of impermanence, aging, and the human curiosity to reach into and beyond the “self we know.” Her poetry chapbook, Under This Sun, was published by Finishing Line Press in March 2020. Liz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice.