Still-Life

These warm August nights are quiet and still,

though the grasshoppers think differently,

announcing themselves in rhythmic cheeps

somewhere outside the windows. 

Cars are heard, too, thundering down highways,

and autumn can be heard, if you listen, like rain falling.

Summer is leaving, the wind beginning

to pull the leaves from the shagbark hickory.

Fall rises up from the streets like mist. 

Then: rain in the trees, whiplashing the leaves.

Sleep.  And morning, the grass outside

dark with rain, a lush near-neon green,

 with light-blue lichen on the shagbark hickory,

scrawled, up and down, like blue scratched rashes.

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