Sunflowers bow dead heads,
their glory spent. Mimosa fades
with summer dreams, shudders
beneath a gray flannel sky laced
with wires. The swallows flit
in dark, shifting patterns.
The river lies drained, cobalt
shapes conforming to a copper bed.
Cream-faced cattle plod and graze,
plod and graze. Across the highway
stubble smokes where children
used to romp barefoot.
Today they ride a yellow bus:
It plows through the dust, past
the shuttered one-room schoolhouse
to the gyms, computers, labs
of a busier town. Established 1917
the drugstore keeps its corner watch
with vacuous eyes wearied by change.
Pear-laden boughs extend an offer
of pies for community suppers,
preserves for winter pantries.
Leaves skip down the church’s
tin roof, scurry like squirrels around
the sign below: Fall Revival.