Long Shadows of August
by Gillian Nevers

Back doors open onto deep yards. Some wide—double lots
our parents call them—good for makeshift softball diamonds,
games of kickball. Most are narrow, stretching downward
into the long shadows of August. Elms grow thick and tall.
Pools of filtered sunlight move across the crab grass like searchlights.
Nights we play kick-the-can, run across unfenced borders.
During the day, the lower lot, darker and more hidden, draws us.
I smoked my first cigarette here. A Lucky Strike, unfiltered,
filched from the pack in my mother's purse.

First appeared 2014 Wisconsin Poets' Calendar


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