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The raking done, the cut grass bagged and set

Upon the curb, he looks to clear a space

To rest where aching back and deck chair meet.

The twilight settles down at summer's pace

And draws his eye where western sky and sun

Conspire to paint his working day an end

Of gaudy purple fire.  And though retired,

He feels the heft of tools still in his hand.

He holds his drink as if it were a haft

Of ash, and thinks of what that hand has done.

The frosted glass of lemonade perspires

As dusk comes on.  One sugared swallow left,

He lifts it, like a chalice, in a toast

To night and all the toil he misses most.


Len Krisak



From Fugitive Child, Aralia Press, 1999.  First
printed in The Formalist.  Reprinted by permission
of the author.

Backgrounds by
Robin's Web

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