Hotter Than Hades

Hotter Than Hades

That summer when I was seven was hotter than Hades
The earth dry and cracked like a moon crater
I remember Grandma sitting on her porch
Snipping the green beans into her apron
Wiping the sweat from her eyes
with the damp cloth permanently wrapped around her neck
We spent most days down in the swimming hole
Swinging from the tree and jumping in the water
or floating in tire tubes just to stay cool
When the sun went down we'd catch fireflies in jars
and watch the June bugs spinning on their backs
by the kitchen door
The days passed slower than molasses
Daddy used to say it was hotter than a stolen tamale
I remember the swarm of grasshoppers that came
They were bigger than Texas.  Billy said they were locusts
They ate momma’s sunflowers,
making her madder than a hornet
There were so many in the air they would land on your legs
while you were riding your bike
Grown-ups were bad-tempered and us kids stayed well away
It seemed as if it was never going to rain
Until that day when big fat drops spotted the pavement 
Like the polka dots on my Sunday best dress
It was a Saturday
Finally, the heavens opened
and the rain came down in buckets
We danced in the street until we were soaked to the skin
and Grandma chased us in with her broom
The next day we all went to church to give thanks 
Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Grace is hosting D'Verse Poets tonight and she has
prompted us to write a poem incorporating setting (specific or descriptive) in our blog.

Word Prompt

Swim - FOWC

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

  40 comments for “Hotter Than Hades

  1. February 14, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    I have never experienced any heat like this… it seemed like a happy memory, but I can understand the burden it must have been for the grown-ups… happy for the rain in the end.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 15, 2021 at 9:24 am

      Yes, I can’t imagine living through that heat as an adult and not being irritable.

  2. February 12, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    Your descriptors of the oppressive heat and subsequent great relief are excellent, and those senses come through clearly.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks so much Ken ☺️

  3. February 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Evocative of time and place and memories so tangible they live on in the present. You took us right there with you into the rain, dancing, giving thanks!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks you so much Dora. I appreciate it ☺️

  4. February 12, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Oh, yeah; you nailed this one. We might have been neighbors, given your description. The Grown-ups always made us stay outside ‘until the streetlights come on.” Great stuff.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Ron. I loved this prompt as it allowed me to do something different. ☺️. I grew up in London and we were allowed to stay out until dark too 👍

  5. February 12, 2021 at 5:18 am

    This is such beautiful, evocative writing:
    ‘The days passed slower than molasses’ – this made my think of Scout’s voice in To Kill a Mockingbird. I love it!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:13 am

      Thanks Ingrid. The southern US is full of colorful descriptive language and it is something I enjoy playing with. ☺️

  6. February 12, 2021 at 5:02 am

    I am way too high — come on over and fly with me! I will be back earthbound tomorrow to tread.,!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Thank you Rob. Will do! ☺️

    • February 13, 2021 at 3:48 am

      I have returned as threatened— Poetry is the statement of power that sets the soul free, to be, exactly who you are — and in being just that, to introduce your truth to the world!..

      • Christine Bolton
        February 13, 2021 at 7:15 am

        YES! Did I just drink your Kool-Aid? 😀

  7. February 12, 2021 at 4:00 am

    You took me back to another time and place in your poem, Christine. I could feel the heat and picture the ‘earth dry and cracked like a moon crater’, even while glancing out of the window at our snow-covered garden. I love the swimming hole and the fireflies in jars, and that wonderful phrase ‘The days passed slower than molasses’, and felt the relief when ‘big fat drops spotted the pavement / Like the polka dots on my Sunday best dress’.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Thanks Kim. I drew from a poem I wrote a while ago and reworked it into narrative poetry. I’m so happy it worked. I appreciate your lovely feedback ☺️

  8. February 12, 2021 at 12:43 am

    A fine set of observations. You took me there and that’s a rare gift.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

      Thank you Doug. I’m so happy you liked it ☺️

  9. February 12, 2021 at 12:37 am

    So well written Christine. It just comes alive in my imagination

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Sadje. That was a lovely thing to say ☺️

      • February 12, 2021 at 11:16 am

        You’re welcome my friend

      • Christine Bolton
        February 12, 2021 at 12:25 pm


  10. February 11, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Your poem is exquisite! I felt every word.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

      Oh Helen that makes me so happy! Thank you for the lovely compliment ☺️

  11. February 11, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Excellent write and your use of idioms was anything but cliche. I remember catching fireflies and watching June bugs spin too!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

      Thanks so much Lynn. I’m so happy you could relate ☺️

  12. February 11, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    This is a wonderful poem Christine! I love the great images of the cracked ground, the grasshoppers, and the big raindrops! I can see your Grandma snapping beans… so good!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Dwight. I’m so happy the imagery worked ☺️ I really enjoyed this prompt.

      • February 12, 2021 at 2:09 pm

        You are welcome!

  13. Jane Swanson
    February 11, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    So descriptive— loved reading this so I read it twice!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:06 am

      What a lovely compliment Jane. Thank you Jane ☺️

  14. February 11, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Wonderful descriptions, Christine, building up the tension until the polka-dotted drops of rain came. I think you could build a book around this place, it’s magical.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Lisa. It is mostly fiction although there are some personal things I could draw from. The Texas heat and drought one year and the locusts! I always enjoy trying to paint a picture. ☺️

      • February 12, 2021 at 10:11 am


  15. Carol Congalton
    February 11, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Really enjoyed this! The heat must have been unbearable! But when the rain came, how liberating!

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Carol. It certainly can be in those extreme situations ☺️😅

  16. February 11, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    This makes me a little jealous for an American summer.. I would just love to see fireflies.. I don’t think we get them in Australia.. this really took me there… <3

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Thank you. Yes fireflies are a fun thing to see. All kids like trying to catch them ☺️

  17. February 11, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Whew, hot summer heat and I can feel the humidity and sweat dripping, until the rain finally came down. How terrifying it must have been to see that swarm of locusts. I like enjoyed this poem – like a page from your diary. Thanks for joining in.

    • Christine Bolton
      February 12, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Thanks Grace. I’m happy you enjoyed it ☺️

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: