First Taste of Summer

vineyard on a hill on a sunny day
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The Torne Valley Vineyard occupies a former estate that overlooks the Ramapo River. It offers lunch and outdoor seating. We’ve tried to dine there since Father’s Day.

Now, we sit at a table for six, just off the tented patio. The band Hip Replacements—whose members’ average age exemplifies the tongue-in-cheek name—play “California Dreaming.” Several people at tables under the tent quietly sing along.

We toast to summer with Kimmie’s crush, a semi-dry red table wine. Our cheese platter arrives. Succulent flavors of shredded swiss, prosciutto and pesto humas on crackers enrapture me. Ah, the flavor of summer!

another sip
rippling sunlight
on the river

photo by Trent Erwin

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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