Late Summer Luncheon

Editor’s Note: Last fall Marlee Fox, a senior in high school, was mulling over her creative writing assignment. It was a cold, blustery day in Annapolis, Md. where she lives and her thoughts turned to Martha’s Vineyard. For several years now her family has been visiting the Island for two weeks each summer.

She wanted to capture, “that feeling you get in your stomach when it’s summer for the first time,” she said.

The result of this musing was an ode to the Chilmark Store and “a bunch of conversations on the porch.”

Marlee submitted the poem to Teen Ink, an online and print magazine, and it was accepted for publication. She has also published short stories and essays but poetry, she feels, is her true calling.

“Because they [poems] are shorter you have to pack more meaning into every word,” she said.

Slippery sweet pizza grease oozes past its soft cardboard box,

Sliding through slots in the picnic tables,

Pooling in circles under the slow summer sun.

Stiff rocking chairs, stomping softly on this old porch,

Witness our concerns tossed to the wayside in our savage thirst for

Garlic-dusted dough,

Savory crushed tomato, and

Endless strings of this

Mad mozzarella which slide like music over our tongues.

August melts in my mouth.

Our swimsuits still damp from the frosty spray,

Bliss slips into my belly, sprawls lazily across my lips.

Oh, if Shakespeare knew of pizza,

What sonnets he’d write, what odes!

Letters arranged in red pepperoni sunsets,

Blooming roses of marinara,

And the kindness of leaving treasured crust on the porch-front

For hungry summer birds.

— Marlee Fox