Politely fluffed and slightly panting,
a middle-aged border collie slumps against
the coal-colored cabinets in the kitchen coolness.
Her thoughts are of comfort and resignation,
and I, for one, hopefully far from my prime,
think maybe I should join her on the tiled floor.

The air outside is filled with a fine sieve of dust,
kicked up from construction trucks
and waved around flag-like across this small humid town.
Mosquitos and horse flies swim lazily
between ears and necks and crickets
metronome the hell out of the bushes.

The iced tea sweats in my palm.
Mother is reading a romance novel
she got from the library this morning,
swinging softly under a forest-green awning
that does nothing to keep out the flies.
She doesn’t seem to mind.

Father is fingering a thick cigar, the smoke
of which you can smell from the sidewalk
on the other side of the brick wall.
I can see sweat beads pealing down his forehead.
His book is about war and his mind is still
and I lay down on the floor with the collie.


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