nothing says fall

em asking me to tie his skull-print piratey do-rag on his head
and then him lego-ing while i read aloud from a book of scary things (weather, killer animals, the bermuda triangle)
and there is something throughout the day that i smile extra to myself about that do-rag
(i would already smile in the first place because i love it
but then the extra-ness because of tying it on in the second place)
which might be the closest
to a parental tug
i might ever feel
how i grab the shovel and emory meets me on his bike and 
i ask him to grab a stick while i leverage
scooping the roadside rigid and perfect possum body
(lighter on top, darker in the legs)
with flies and bees buzzing
in its mouth
and the three chicory flowers i place
over its eyes
before layering the dried grass on/over

robbie and i, new berlinites, doing the softball pose in the dahlias
while cynthia snaps the photos
nothing says fall like a ride on a wagon hitched to a tractor
and here we are all
riding down the gravel road
on the double wagons
hitched to the gas-fuming tractor
(my neckercheif pulled up over my nose)
our work gloves on
our bodies readying for the field dance
of scooping up awkward-to-carry bundles of cane
and dropping them onto the wagons
emory, eric and i
in the field to the west of the pond
awaiting the next wagon
each of us with a sorghum leaf tucked
in the back of our hats
like a single tall feather,
kendra and zeke follow suit
dottie and i in the orchard
after several rounds of cane pick-up
kicking and kneeing and headbutting and chesting (etc) a work glove back and forth
as if it were a hacky sack and me
losing it to the hilarity
with every kick
the hum-whine of combines drifting in the distance
at night in light of moon
as they harvest what seems like endless corn
(though not as endless as the corn in nebraska)
how this is another entry
for the sandhill sound dictionary
and how, if there is ever a fall northeast missouri sound to be nostalgic about,
this is one
i want to be seen
and i want to know the world
and mess with it
she says (i’m paraphrasing)
about how our kind
want to burn


from the water world: 

Lanny Dean, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, wades along a flooded Beach Boulevard next to Harrahs Casino as the eye of Hurricane Nate pushes ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi. – voice of america, day in photos