LETHARGY

Late August, and the hot sky blooms with clouds:
dandelions gone to seed, Queen Anne’s lace, bindweed.
The lawn has given up, exhausted, dried to a crisp;
one small spark, and up it goes. The same way
I feel, tired, no juice, all the green leached out.
In the garden, burst balloons of tomatoes,
zucchini deflated by borers, skeletal
leaves of the beans. The things I have left undone.
Only one white butterfly swims in the heavy air.
When, at last, the sun finally sets, the clouds
stain themselves hot pink, as if someone
had eaten a fat slab of watermelon, and drizzled sticky
juice all over the cheeks of the sky.

~Barbara Crooker
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