Dead of Summer
After it happened the roads were like glass,
shattered or molten and dripping. We went
about our duties, carefully skirting the craters
without ever looking down. Storms swept
over us, and each day was hotter and more
overcast. The schools and libraries were
rededicated to other purposes, but mail
was delivered twice a day, due to increased
numbers of emergency government bulletins.
The useless radio hissed like a rabid raccoon.
At the supermarket the empty shelves grew
longer. No one drove anywhere, but we
sometimes heard faint sirens that remained
a mystery. Whole families moved in the dead
of night, giving no warning to their neighbors
and abandoning everything they owned.
We boarded up windows. We never opened
the doors after dark. We said we liked it better
before, but no one was listening.
©2004 F.J. Bergmann
"Dead of Summer" appeared in Blue Unicorn Volume XXIX, #3, June 2006.
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