We returned home from a heat-indexed 102° Essex Day for a languid lunch — quiche and garden-to-table Caprese salad (with aromatic purple basil) followed by watermelon — under the shady American Linden.
A subtle breeze freshened just enough to wick the perspiration from our necks, and for a moment, it was perfection. Sated. Shaded. Contemplating watersports…
Suddenly mobile phones interrupted the postprandial lethargy with rain warnings. On cue, the sky darkened. The scorching heat dipped a few degrees. We hastened to clear lunch, and just in time because now… It. Is. Pouring!
Retreating indoors to wait out the shower, my mind somersaults into Essex Days past, to the witty words of my late friend and longtime Crater Club summer resident, Jeff Moredock. Almost a decade prior he re-dubbed the longtime summer street festival from which we’ve just returned, “Excess Day”. And for me it will remain such forevermore.
Excess in the Village of Essex
On the eve of Excess Day
Husbands and wives
Can be heard
Bickering back and forth
Trying to determine whose excess
Must leave the house
Husbands cling to old rods and reels
Wives insist they need their curling irons
Small children hide balls and dolls
They haven’t played with in years
Dogs hide their worn-out chew toys
But when dawn breaks on Excess Day
The sidewalks are lined with the
Detritus of daily life
Fishing reels curling irons balls
And dolls and much much more
The crowds sweep down the street
In search of bargains treasures or
Just something they don’t have
And don’t need or so say
Husbands to wives
And wives to husbands
By mid-day prices begin to drop
As the crowds begin to thin
Books bird houses bar stools
Pottery paintings and more
Fly off the sidewalks and
Before long the day is ended
One family’s excess is now another— Jeff Moredock, June 2013 (Source: Essex on Lake Champlain)
Family’s excess and sure to be seen
Next year on the
Other side of the street
Jeff Moredock’s Essex Day spoof is published in Poems from Essex & Elsewhere.
What do you think?