Preparing for the Change

September rain not really falling,
but has fallen. Clouds mess 

with her chance to witness
another civil 

twilight. But a western gleam
signals another shift. And 

she wishes she could find the hidden white
pine forest, tucked into it 

creek, where she would be safe to write
his name in the needle bed
dirt without 

getting found out.
But branches get so heavy 

this time of year. Hotter 

and hotter, later till
that moment when it gets very cool.

Would Be Roadkill

Either these falls are shrinking
or this river’s high.
Traffic stops 

for you when you no longer trust. You’re walking
across blind
spots, a stone embankment and swerve 

to tease the dead. You have predicted
you would join those left-handed ghosts
when the right of way 

becomes cursed, your body,
upon impact 

a weightless parcel 

through early spring
air. It’s always an April day
just a half hour before 

sunset—civility
in dimming lights dancing off
city streets so many miles before 

the skyline disintegrates
into a watery horizon. It’s guess work,
and it’s hard to know when it will crest.

Civil Twilight

A thirty-minute measure
of time to get it done.
She must pave the road from town center 

to rain puddle is a swimming hole
for her imaginary neighborhood. It’s time
to get it done. Their world, her creation,
is a cul-de-sac 

of beach sand transported
by huge mechanical shovels, not
the wind.  It’s time, before
she can no longer tell the difference 

between the road and ditch,
to get it done.  Why play
out here, her mother has asked,
when the ocean is just up the path 

continuously slowly
hazarding the screened-in front
porch. But her mother just doesn’t get it.
It’s time, here in the back, to get it done. It’s not 

about match box cars with real working door hinges
and tiny treaded tires. Any doll
she owns would be out of scale.
So the people of the neighborhood are invisible, 

but no less in need
of roadways, driveways, articulated floor plans
for their homes.  From where they live, she can’t see
East Chop or West Chop Light. But she can almost hear 

the salt rumble on, miniature bay wave
tucking into itself. What gets trapped
in the air might preserve the village, or
it might rain. She doesn’t take chances—it’s time to get it done
before the bare red bulb lights up the back porch.