and the coolness in the air is more figment than
mixed with heat rising from parched pavement
and aching ground.
It is quiet-
only an occasional lilt from passing birds
and laconic buzzing
from red wasps
busy at the old board bench.
I lean against the hickory,
it bark worn gray from seasons changing,
readying yellow to overtake the dried green
of its saw toothed leaves
in preparation of shedding it all
for a long winters dreaming.
I leave ex votos, tamata, milagros
wedged in the folds of the hickory’s skin,
bits of tin in the shape of my grief
and lost years.
An altar good enough for most deities
and the angels that linger
in autumn woods
on the first day
of my fall.