North Texas Summer
by Michael Baldwin

This summer has been brutally
normal for North Texas.
Two rainless, searing months
with thermometers stretching
their mercury thin as slug slime
up into the hundreds.
Only the grasshoppers seem
enthusiastic in their prospects.
My silver maple’s Spring-sprung
crop of fresh plump leaves
has divested in a dry cotillion.
The few remaining, withered,
wizened, cruelly disfigured, yet
cling with tenacious defiance.
As I watch, one leaf, large and grotesque,
succumbs, glides serenely
on the dragon’s breath,
over the back fence, with the demeanor
of an immolated saint assumed to heaven.

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