August blew his flute in the shade,
lay down by the water, kicked off his shoes,
put his feet up, refused to care
about money, time, the national debt.
August lounged on tree limbs,
hung tires from branches, fell in love
with water, played break the wave,
jump the wave, ride the wave in.
August faced the horizon with indifference,
waited for pecans to fall, muscadines
to turn, trumpet vines to sound
their wild annunciations.
August proclaimed the fish in the trees,
the cleavage of shadows, the stars
shooting holes in the sky,
God in his glass-bottomed boat.
For once the dog days of August
were not dog days at all
but children running through woods,
warming their mouths with words
unafraid to be spoken. August
sang to mockingbirds’ random chants,
pressed his face into crepe myrtles,
wore mimosa in his hair, scratched his name
into trunks of trees. August made friends
with everyone, fed the birds,
watered the plants, wanted to give
his bread to the child in the street.
August came in without fanfare,
stayed its requisite number of days,
colored the night bright with stars,
left us the resurrection of children.
From The Book of Days, a chapbook published online by the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature in 2009.