August ends, at last. You can see a tree
under a canopy of apple trees.
You can see a frog in a ditch.
…and just enough
water trickles off the porch roof, enough
to keep the soil and skin intact and moist,
enough to keep the earthworms quiet.
I’m standing by the oak tree that
my father planted—what?—some forty years
ago. I’m not thinking of him so much right now
and I’m not thinking of the tree either.
I’m watching the new sprinklers spray
the grass. I’m not sure why; I just like it.
You can stand there right in front of
the tree and not get wet. The spray has left
a watermark, though, a ring underneath the bark,
as though the rain could reach up through the grass
and leave a secret sign…
The snails of summer crawl across the lawn
so slowly. So even while you are
on a train to Chicago—
it is September now—
I can still reach up to pull you down
to earth. You stay right here.
You can never leave earth in August,
not with her skin and soil so engorged.