A pair of Holsteins wander by an electric fence
toward a promised-land red barn, the ambient noises
and their quiet beast-calm unbound in a wash of light.
And an imprint of percussive traffic sounds nearby.

This and the flood of what drags two people down
by a buckeye named American horse-chestnut.
The woman sees her hand on a pair of Levis
and thinks This has cost me the life I had.

To her right, an index finger strafes an ankle.
He’d been almost as attentive as she hoped.
Maybe this is how the habit of love begins.
Maybe it starts with handing over a shoe.

She would smile if she weren’t righting herself
and reaching forward to the blanket’s border
for what she never took as part of gladness:
the dispensation of joy in September grasses.



Photo By: Phil Roeder