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Hydrangea Bloom, Rhapsody, 

blood streaming from my mouth & not my favorite

ending to a dream. The snake appearing from a hay bale

kept too long in the garage, so I grab the garden hoe & kill it,

separating its head from its rest. Then the head grows

to the size of a crocodile head. Then grows bigger than

even that. This story told over & over at family gatherings

in the future. Second-hand timber rattler boots worn for effect. 

All the little nieces & nephews feigning terror. They know

it’s all bullshit, but still scream, laugh, ask leading questions,

participate in further stretching of the truth. Another lesson

a little less a lesson & more an alarm clock set to the PM

when it shoulda been the AM. The inevitability of the sand

in the bag, in your teeth when eating potato chips at the beach.

Grit in my shoes as sockless I slide them on the next morning

to walk the dog before the convention of robins begins another

day’s assault on the neighbor’s choke-cherry. My love & I still

on a gifted quilt, sun slipping down behind us – shadows.