The grass reminds me

of death and sneakers

and picnic baskets. The band

is setting up. The sun, cooler now,

will soon be setting down beyond

the distant trees.


The music will begin soon,

in earnest, and the people

will settle down. I take my pill

to deaden the pain in my back.

I spray some OFF!

SKINTASTIC on my arms

and the back of my neck

and over my hair.

I hate it, but it's the lesser

of two evils. Across

the blankets and folding chairs

I see my wife.


She's talking to some friends,

pushing her hair back

with her hand. I think

how pretty she is still, listening

to her voice reaching me in

brief, flat, unorganized

stretches. And I think, too,

how grass is the same everywhere,

really, and so are people.


words: Michael Estabrook, Massachusetts
image: Helen Ellis, Australia


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