Ninety in the Shade

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Summer fills my ears:
finches, cardinals, robins sing before dawn,
jays scold on my morning walk,
cicadas buzz in afternoon heat,
crickets chirp away the evening.

Bees and butterflies and blossoms,
late summer’s goldenrod fills the air,
pollen mingling with smoke from Canada,
toxic and intoxicating.
Living dangerously, I ignore health warnings,
go outside and walk through this heavy air.

Ninety degrees again.
Ninety in the shade and nowhere to wade,
no Aunty Helen to take us to the river,
no Dad and Grandpa with fishing poles and worms.
What good is ninety in the shade without them?

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