Charlotte Pence
A fading red ball in grass. An old retriever 
sleeping on his monogrammed bed.
The sun warbles through leaves, dandelions—
flashes behind a hundred ghostly spokes. 
White. A breeze. Then not.
Autumn waits at the end of this day,
elbows resting on knees. Chin propped. 
And a girl begins knocking on the front door
selling off-brand chocolate bars
for the junior high band. Trip to D.C.
We don’t consider that the grass 
records any of this. After all, the pine cone 
never thanks the pine tree,
and how would we know if it did?
But that red ball. Candy-smudge red, 
Chalked-rose red, scarred-skin red.
And glint of a gold foil wrapper swaying 
to the ground. Grass that flattens 
after her feet as she cuts to the next yard.
And then, the bucking up, like a gymnast 
raising from a back bend, as each blade
attempts to spring back. A quiet clicking.
Faint white lines of almost breaking.

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