I drive into the dark.
The World Series sputters on the radio.
In the backseat my son weeps
and a girl holds his hand.
It is late autumn.
The eyes of cats glint along the roadside.
Jagged clouds frame the setting sun.
The sky is a riot of colors—lemon, salmon, plum—
and now soccer season is over.
The winners have taken their victory laps across the field.
Our losers have scattered into cars,
stunned and deflated.
Startled sparrows fly up from the grass
as my car rattles westward.
Chimney smoke threads from window-lit capes,
from tidy ranches and collapsing trailers.
at the strike of a shovel,
the earth will ring like a tamped bell—
The season is over.
My son weeps in the backseat
and a girl,
dear tender apprentice of love,
quietly holds his hand.
Oh, the small tragedies.
In the moments we live them,they are blacker than roads.
[first published in Cardinal Flower Journal (September 2015)]