Everything colorful was gone from the woman’s flower beds, despite all her ardent work. The summer just wouldn’t allow anything other than perennial green now.
Listening to Chopin’s tender Nocturnes as dusk descended, I gazed into her yard at a wheelbarrow holding slender planks of oak she had acquired for a trellis. A large ceramic pot sat hollow inside the wheelbarrow belly, along with smaller plastic pots — summer casualties, all lumped together and parked in the shadow of an awning.
In the summer the sparrows sound
like you’re watching the tide
The grackles soar like seagulls
over ocean foam spouting from the 12 bus
Passengers undulate over every bump and street-wise
pedestrians are like mushrooms in the tropics,
wearing floppy hats while going about their tasks
In the summer there’s a beat you can listen to
on a boom box as if beneath water —
the top-40 songstress’ voice hazy and gurgling in the distance
In the summertime every day here
is like you’re living near a shoreline.