David Graham: "These Are the Days of Deer Flies and Mosquitoes"


These are the days of deer flies and mosquitoes,

itching welts on our legs we can't remember getting,

the deep woods dripping with rain even when


it's not raining anymore, as the wind in the trees

discovers all the leftover storm, and we check

the weather channel four times daily


to see if we can tell yesterday from today,

but there is at least a fifty percent chance

that we can, or cannot, and the fog


hanging over the morning's first fishing skiff

expresses the probability of vague unrest

with the things we say about bugs and storms


and the stories we recite, summer after summer,

to the shiftingly generous lake water,

to the rain dripping clocklike off the eaves, to wells


that haven't gone dry in six generations,

and to boats that carve such trivial wakes

as they troll across the glassy morning's mirror


we are surprised when the waves reach our shore.



David Graham is the author of six poetry collections, including Stutter Monk. He also co-edited with Kate Sontag a book of essays, After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography. His poems and essays have appeared in various literary journals, such as American Poetry Review, Eclectica, and Georgia Review. Graham is Professor of English at Ripon College.