where a tree

sheds its red

and a breeze

scuffs a leaf

across the road,

and it flutters

on a stone

nicked by the blade

of a mower,

and the chopped growth

slowly turns to brown,

the sun is late

and level with the fence

when an engine hums,

a dog lopes

across the road,

and a bumper hits it

with a thump and yelp

that leaves a jet of blood

on its pelt and paws

sprawled in the weeds

while a cloud passes

like a puff of breath,

and beyond the fence

the sun flares and sets

at the level of your eyes.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 4, on page 45
Copyright © 2017 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com