The way a killdeer separates its wing, as if broken at the joint,
forgetting its life to save it, as we did when we killed
all hunters who hunted here. We see thinning,
to the north, thinning to the south.
Entering the sea, the river removes itself to grassed islands,
stretching into salt as dust does, when it eddies from a room
where nothing moves into the atticed hallways of houses
where children are no longer living.
In summer, shadows that wait beneath the streets and fields
of the valley rise and fill our lives with water, for an hour,
falling from the sky in quarter-sized gobbets,
until, when it's over, days later,
grown men are throwing hay, raked and turned, raked and baled,
onto wagons, the sun glistening their backs into deep red patches
of dusted rubies, shining across the rounded
field of dried stalks and seeds,
spreading small glints of light through the hills, to the highway.
In the barn, new calves bawl for milk, the mice consider
electric lines, breaking into sparkling halves
as we do when left, too long, alone.