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On the Farm End of July
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.