Closing Time

The last two weeks of August
feel like last call
people are frantic, in a bit of a panic
summer is rocketing by

so instead of ordering one more
Black Russian or Rusty Nail
they squeeze in one more beach trip
boat ride or barbecue.

On the sand men stand as tall as they can
thrusting out their pelvises like tusks
as they gawk at all the goddesses.
Women check their images in cellphones

reassuring themselves that their hair
and make-up are still flawless
then fuss with bathing suit tops
trying to look busty

without crossing the line into slutty.
Children vomit after too many amusement rides
their parents try not to swear
foggy days feel like tragedies.

Every day there’s a swimmer pulled from a riptide
a kayaker rescued at sea
mountains of backpacks and wallets stolen
as the lawless lock in their profits.

Traffic jams and collisions
breakdowns and break-ins
fires sparked by bonfires and marshmallow roasts gone wild
emergency trips to the hospital –

September is coming
but fall is lovely, and summer will return
so please
August responsibly.


About the Poet:
Sheila Wellehan’s poetry is featured or forthcoming in Chiron Review, Ekphrastic, The Fourth River, Pittsburgh Poetry Houses, Poetry East, Rat’s Ass Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Unrequited: An Anthology of Love Poems about Inanimate Objects, and Yellow Chair Review. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine with two cats and two dogs. Visit her online at


Photo by Jay Mantri.


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