Summer halfway trundled up, the July rain rasps
down our nighttime roof and window glass,
the road out front rivering to ruts of pebbled sand,
where soil bleeds veins between clumps of grass.
At dawn the cat stands stunned at doorway’s edge,
tail twitching, ears backed. His kingdom’s come to this:
porch floor slicked, the plastic-covered wire chairs
tipped up as if to watch, rain beading on their fragile arms and ribs.
Beyond the bedded lilies’ blooms that droop into the grass,
beyond the pepper plants and compost heap and lawn,
out past the neat rock wall, the steaming tree trunks in their veiny sash,
the rumored bear trawls up the meadow-wheat.
The stairs, expanding with the damp, creak
and moan as we climb them back to bed.