Ariane de Gennaro

’Twas a cool winter night

As young Andrew slept tight,

All curled up in Bulldog Bed delight.


’Til abruptly, Andrew awoke with a fright

For there in his sight

Stood a ghost looming in the dim light.


Andrew wondered what brought him this demonic sprite.

For though the ghost’s figure was slight,

The boy knew he was doomed, couldn’t put up a fight.


“I am the Ghost of Summer Past,”

Announced the ghoul, speaking at last,

As his subject’s heart began to beat fast.


“Here to remind you of what you might miss,

If you sell out to Corporate America’s kiss.

Please bear with me, as I show you this.”


And then with a jolt, a vision took root,

Of six months before, and Andrew’s pursuit.

He could only watch, for he was stuck mute:


Just a kid working for joy, wanting nothing more

Then to bask in the sun of summer camp galore,

Trying to make 10-year-olds do their damn chores.


And then they moved to the basketball courts,

Dealing with whiny kids who were really bad sports,

Trying to threaten each with bad reports.


He couldn’t describe the ache in his heart

As he yearned to go back to the start

But suddenly it was time to depart.


“Why show me this, you oh-so-cruel ghost?

How do you know what I want most?

Even when we both know those days are toast?”


“I’m not here to say, only to show.

As for your questions, only you can know.

But now I fear that I must go.”


As quick as he came, the phantom disappeared

As the fog in ’Drew’s head slowly cleared.

But the dream — maybe nightmare — still felt too weird.


The silence was broken

By another ghoulish token,

And Andrew knew before the words were spoken …


“I am the Ghost of Summer to Come,”

The apparition proclaimed as Andrew stood dumb.

“Please follow me,” he said with a wag of his thumb.


In a cubicle, Andrew sat,

Working on some trifle, oh this or that.

Waiting for someone with whom he could chat.


From the ghost: “You know applications close soon,”

Andrew replied, “For this summer?” like a buffoon.

“Of course not, my fool. This is 2024, on the first day of June.”


“You mean to tell me to start thinking now?

But to know what to do, there’s no way how!

Please, I beg, what sayest thou?”


But the ghost only smirked,

His duty to answer shirked,

Feeling quite confident his fearmongering worked.


Back in bed, Andrew lay with a sweat

Beginning to fret,

And then appeared one final threat.


’Drew cut in: “You’re the Ghost of Summer Present

Blah blah blah, treat me like a peasant,

Let’s get this done. I know it won’t be pleasant.”


“Andrew, it’s me, your roommate, are you doing good?”

Voice sounding concerned, like a good roommate’s would.

Andrew could only shake his sweatshirt’s hood.


“A dream, a horror, I can’t begin to say.

Ghosts of the Summers, I can’t keep them at bay.

I guess, on my mind, applications must weigh.


“I don’t know what plan is best,

It’s all so full of stress,

And I’m so-very scared, I must confess.


“Why is it all so fraught with worry,

Making me feel like I have to hurry

To pick a career path down which I can scurry.”


“Andrew, you’re crazy, stop speaking in rhyme,

You’ll wake up tomorrow and still have some time.

Now get some rest, and it’ll all be fine.”

In his goofy nightgown,

Andrew made peace, and laid back down

And fell asleep, making a smile from his frown.

Andrew Cramer is a former sports editor, women's basketball beat reporter, and WKND personal columnist at the YDN. He still writes for the WKND and Sports sections. He is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College and is majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics.