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And the flies were dancing and buzzing, and joining in,

and there was some sort of silent party with no music,

because the only sounds were the birds and we wanted that.

We never wanted it to stop, just wanted to stay, my mother and father with their wine,

laughing, me, running, slipping in the wet grass, laughing at the chickens.

In this excerpt from her magnificent poem “On an Equestrian Farm [1],” Emma Hoff perfectly expresses the feeling of being on vacation (and especially a lazy July and August kind of vacation!)—sitting outside, listening

to the flies and the birds, laughing, being together, and never wanting it to end, while also knowing it is so perfect and wonderful in part because it will end. This summer, I hope each of you enjoys at least one day that makes you feel this way.

And then consider writing about that day or that week, turning to Emma’s poems— she has written two about her time on an

equestrian farm with her family—as examples. In both, she captures the place and the way she related it, masterfully mixing mundane details with more philosophical observations.