as gold as the flickering

the amazingly long snake skin (at least 4 feet)
tucked under where my window ends and the ground begins
how i pull it out like a magician pulls out
a seemingly never-ending parade of scarves
from their mouth
how i coil this skin inside a box and wrap it up
for emory’s 8th birthday

the crepes that i missed but i don’t mind
cuz there are bowls and bowls and bowls and more bowls
of a bounty of strawberries
buckets of water sloshing in the garden cart,
four of them, packed with the first real kale harvest
of the season – four varieties (vates, white russian,
red russian, rainbow lacinato)

the bullock oriole (not quite confirmed
but some kind of oriole that we don’t think is baltimore)
that emory spots (orange flash against branches/sky)
and how we sit side by side on the steps
passing the binocs back and forth to watch /i.d. it

trish on the front porch on trumpet
playing a welcome home for baigz and mo’s arrival
sandhill  vs. everyone else on the frisbee field
we huddle before the huck and call this out:
animal style !
and then run as the disc is released
shall we go for a run
i joke to jacob in probably
some kind of english accent as we
run alongside each other
on the frisbee field
joseph scooping out
the three flavors of the him-made ice cream:
root beer, kiwi and mango
into the waffle cones from hannibal
(home of mark in the park / twain on main)
and handing them to the hands
of reaching kids who just finished their
scramble under the piñata
how i haul
joseph’s drum out so
we can get a real rhythm section going
how we bang and rattle
djembe josh at the helm
(and at some point i’m playing
two shovels and a gutter
while ted and cynthia are on buckets
with djembe josh and tyler on real drums
and joseph is picking up the sax
as trish and ra ra fake but not really fake
contact/improv around the fire

and then i am trampoline jumping
in my polka dot party dress
while the rhythm section carries on
and the fire sends smoke up
and the stars all almost seem to do
an 8th turn, just a little wink,
some kind of nod that we are all in this
magic together
and the way when, later, i leave to head up the road
the saxophone carries clear across the air
notes as gold as the still flickering flames
warm night wind on my exposed skin
and a light on in the whitehouse window
how i star-watch with a cat in my arms
before landing in bed





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