After lifeguards and tourists
fold their sandy towels
and flock toward another summer

After thunderstorms and cattle
resume their contemplation
of grass

After bees and wasps and power lines
stop humming
through abandoned afternoons

But before the moon pulls winter
from her deep dark hat of tricks
where it has rocked all summer
between two rabbits
and a molting dove

In those few fleeting breaths
between what we know of life
and what we wish of death

There is a pause
Absence of movement
Everywhere except our lungs

which cannot help but continue
in and in and out and out
even during the moment of silence

Nature impresses
over her other children
and we hear ourselves
thinking about leaves

Sleep falls over yellow days

Rae Spencer is a writer and veterinarian living in Virginia. Her poetry has been published in vox poetica, Poem2Day, Willows Wept Review, The Driftwood Review, Melusine, and elsewhere.

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