A girl with hair to her waist
walks her bike home from school.
She stops at the moss-covered fountain,
gathers her hair and pulls it back,
drinks deeply, her silver bike
leaning against her leg.
Callenback’s redbone bitch,
tits dragging the ground,
waddles down Mill Street
to the ice house, where the melt
pools in the gutter.
The three mules in Keener’s pasture
are gnawing the fences—
scrubbing wood with their tongues.
It’s five o’clock, time for Keener to show,
with three gallon jugs of rain water.
A man pauses in his garden,
props his forearm on his hoe,
pulls a handkerchief the color
of the ground from his pocket,
wipes his brow and across his lips.
A drop of sweat clings to his chin
and drops on a blade of new corn.
Black ants march single file
across my porch step,
carrying the pistils
of honeysuckle blossoms.