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
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