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The Gift of Summer?

June 21, 2017


The Gift of Summer?


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Oh, Summer, sweet Summer–

at last, you are here!

I have waited one long Wisconsin winter

for your short visit–

each day of you like a vacation

to be relished and revered.


Through your lush, warm days,

I need not bedeck myself in

polar-bear coats, doubled hats,

scarves, gloves, and fake-fur-lined boots

each time my guide dog and I venture outside.

Thank you!  Thank you!


Through the tender days of Summer,

I need not shovel my Snow Garden:

I shovel soil

into my flower and herb garden

which soothes my soul

all summer long.


Okay, okay, the soil is

a concoction

from a plastic bag;

and the containers are plastic,

painted to look like clay pots.

You see, I live in the heart of

a sidewalk city.

My precious garden may not be


but daily,

during this season of growth,

I am energized and enriched

by my pink and white geraniums,

Gerbera daisies, lavender,

rosemary, mint, and basil.

I have no purple sage yet this summer;

nevertheless, in my summer garden,

I feel wise and wonderful.


On these beautifully bright days

or caressing velvet nights of Summer,

walks with Willow,

my fourth Leader Dog,

wipe away frozen thoughts

of salt-covered sidewalks and streets,

snow stacked at curbs, and surprising ice.

(I do prefer my ice

in other forms,

such as iced tea and ice cream.)

Carefree, Willow and I walk

as if we are at a state park

and enjoy the melodious sounds of songbirds,

occasional whiffs

of lavish lilacs and other fragrant flowers.


Oh, Mother Nature,

you could take this season

of Summer–

this superb gift–

and tie it with a bow.

Oh, NO!  No, you can’t!

Someone from the city–

please blame the mayor–

already tied up the season

not with a bow,

but with




Best wishes for a happy and construction-free summer!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


June 21, 2017, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Alice, may the sweet fragrances of a thousand flower gardens lift your spirits through the summer months. Thanks for a colorful stroll through the neighborhood. dp

    Sent from my wicked smart Windows 10 machine

    • Deon–Thanks for your creatively nice comment.

      Best wishes for your Maine summer–Alice and Willow

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    I wish I could make that construction disappear, so that you and Willow could thoroughly enjoy the loveliness of summer that you describe so delightfully in your poem. Take care and stay safe on your daily walks.
    Love, Mary

    • Mary–Thanks for your comment. During the 26 years that I have lived in Milwaukee, I wish I had kept track of the years and months that my guide dogs and I have had to contend with construction of various types. Since the current long-term project is unnecessary and makes the city less walkable, putting up with the construction is much harder. Thankfully, all four of my guide dogs have met each challenge of construction; nevertheless, the situation has certainly not been a way one would wish to live. Many days, I think Willow deserves a blue ribbon for her impressive work.

      Take care–Alice and Willow

  3. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Once again you have put some of my thoughts into your writing as just the other day I did have the same feeling of this gift of summer. I guess we appreciate the gift because we don’t have it year-round. It’s a shame about the construction putting a damper on your enjoyment. If it is any consolation, our nearby town is also torn up and the local businesses are hurting–makes me think of the old saying that in WI we have two seasons–winter and road construction. Thank goodness you are an experienced handler and Willow is in good hands with the challenge.–Sue

    • Sue–Thanks for adding a variety of comments to my blog post. I hope that the construction in your area will be completed before our very lengthy project in downtown Milwaukee. Today’s beautiful weather and 52 blocks of walking with Willow helped me to stay in the summer zone–rather than the work zone.

      Take care and enjoy the weekend! Alice and Willow

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