Summer solstice


Summer morning, hot by nine.
Filling the water bucket
and the water hisses and flashes from the hose’s nozzle
like jagged, spiky rays from a sparkler,
then fizzles against the dark bucket’s black bottom,
boils awhile
settles into a steady simmer
before it abruptly
goes still
when the nozzle sinks below the surface.

The goats watch from the shaded side of the barn.


Some other summer morning
the girl, at four,
is told to nap until her pool is filled
–but not told how long that might take.

Outside the bedroom window,
her father puts the hose to the blue, plastic pool,
decorated with turtles and smiling seahorses.
The stream of water
beats harshly against the brittle plastic,
like tiny drumming fingers
then tempers to a steady thrum
before going silent.

All is still, but shimmering.
The light is July quiet.
Nearby, car wheels crunch on someone’s driveway.
A dragonfly buzzes past the window.
Somewhere in the house, there’s the muffled thump
of a cat’s paws touching down after a leap.

There is no napping.
Only waiting for the sound of full.


All the while
the pool
the bucket
the girl
the morning

are silently filling
until they are nearly brimming.