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On the Farm End of July
1950s Idaho
by Star Coulbrooke

Grass-ocean bends in evening wind
riding the waves of day's heat.

Cats in the barn lapping up milk
aimed fresh-squeezed from a teat.

Butch the hunting hound
eating the milk-machine filter.

Cucumber boats when they grow too big
for pickling or fresh-sliced in vinegar.

Wading in pastures, ditchwater flooding,
soaking the cowpies to squish between toes.

Swimming the river, a plunge
into riffles, fish bumping skin.

Salamanders in the lane
after a good warm rain.


Wasps drifting through unscreened windows
to build their mud nests in the closets.

Sometimes a bat flying in by accident,
captured quick in a fishing net.

Cat-face spiders under the eaves
at Uncle Hyrum and Aunt Christine's.

Rattlesnakes, blowsnakes, blue racers
and once a rubber boa the color of sagebrush.

Apricots orange as sunset.
The ladder we never take down.

The park on the river, the merry-go-round,
a hammock slung between cedars.

Asleep in that hammock.
Adrift on those waves.


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