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.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 4, on page 45
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