Thirty days into summer, the heat
owns us now and we yield, change
our ways to work into the shade

of anything between us and the sun.
Out of habit, a neighbor’s cow stands
beneath the skeleton of an old oak,

a ridge-bound casualty of the drought—
a silhouette mid-morning as I head home
branded in my brain like a wrought iron

logo for outdoor living hanging
from an arched concrete entrance—
beyond which I am blinded

by the white light of my delirium.
I close my eyes to see clearly again,
turn away and pray I may be wrong.


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