Fair Air

Summer morning ritual
unseal the house
gather chilled dawning air
As if I could store it, harbor it
to fight a Bakersfield afternoon.
As if it would stay, soothe
us when the sun’s rays bullet
through double-paned windows.
As if dust motes and particulates
dominant in this toxic air
could be quelled
by a bite or two of coolness.
As if fair air could survive ‘til noon.

Alarm disarmed,
its eye once red
like the last barbeque coal,
turns green,
signals accessible doorways,
promises of small cool breezes.
I push back wide vertical blinds,
pull open the leaden slider,
invite the false freshness in.

I glance at the thermometer
mounted on the patio post
past wooden art-filled fences
beyond neighboring rooftops.
Above the trees
a fresh sun greets me.

In this land of lung-searing summers,
allergens, penetrating dust,
and deadly defoliants,
chilled morning air
dulls memories of discomfort.
I am at home.


Annis Cassells is a retired middle school teacher who has since added “life coach” and “speaker” to her resume. She’s had poems published in several online ‘zines and print anthologies. Annis loves to travel and is always planning her next trip. You can follow her writing at The Daymaker.