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High stakes of Summer

by Gabriella Brand

We watch the yellow rays of July
splaying across our bedroom floor,
playing poker with our vacation,
cajoling us out onto the porch,
gambling on thunderclouds,
living high on the hog,
bluffing us down to the beach,
hiding, seeking, upping the ante.

But some days hold the promise of a royal flush:
a small hummingbird hovering over the hollyhocks,
fresh raspberries dotting the morning yogurt,
enough wind to suck out the sail on the Sunfish,
grilled vegetables curling into dinner
fireworks dropping deep into the night.

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Gabriella Brand’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Room Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Perigee, The Citron Review, The Mom Egg, and PIF. She has an M.A. from Middlebury College. She divides her time between Connecticut, where she teaches foreign languages, and Quebec, where she canoes, hikes, daydreams and writes.