Where Dionysus still smiles

Outside the crickets sing their summer songs.
It is songs of dust and all too little rain mixed to the distant beat of a tractor.
Outside it is August in the year of 2022.

But inside.
I found an open door and took it as a silent welcome even though it might just have been the wind who had pushed against the gate, over and over again, until the hinges gave way.
But inside.

It is 1960 and the past cools my temples.
It is 1960 and the calendar still counts the days of the year,
every year since,
and loops the present perfect tense without acknowledging the crickets chancing songs outside.

It is 1960
and Dionysus lifts his glass as if to show me that time doesn’t matter
and that present, past or future doesn’t matter
as long as there is wine to harvest and orchards to plant and as long as one does caress the seeds to sleep in long winter’s hours.

Times have changed I try to tell Dionysus but he won’t hear a word of that.
He won’t hear about people having forgotten to listen to the crickets’ worried songs.
He won’t hear about people having forgotten to caress seeds to sleep.
He just smiles his crooked smile.

I already know, he says as I turn to leave the vine vault, as I leave 1960 and as I step back into the outside.

The grapes are ripe, three, four weeks earlier than expected.

ListenListenListen the crickets chant as night falls.