A Day in the Hammock

The Perry famers in the hammock

It is sunny but 60, so I bring a blanket, Keith, and a thermos of tea. When I’m at a loss for the next line, I eat a piece of chocolate from the box stowed in the vee of my sweater.

On the second try, I move the hammock far enough away from the walnut trees. When I turn my back, the bass jump out of the pond.

The clouds are as white as Hokusai’s waves. When the jets pass, it occurs to me that if they explode, I will not make it to the basement in time.

The larger brown grasshoppers mate with the smaller green ones in the charcoal left from the bonfire. When they get in her way, a mud dauber scares them into opening those ugly drapes they call wings.

I am so still that a family of raccoons waddles up the hill to understand my thermos. When I sit up to look at them, they scurry back into the aptly named panic grass.

I see a raptor circling the cottonwood trees. When it turns out to be a buzzard, I pinch Keith and then myself–you never know.

Other people who have claims on me waft across my mind like that cloud that looked like a duck but blew into a curlew. When I focus on the monarchs ascending to currents that will jettison them to Mexico, I have the hammock to myself again.

What with the deer flies and the sweat bees and this rigging cutting into my shoulder, I’m sure I won’t fall asleep out here. But when I open my eyes, North America is transforming into a bucking bronco and a bass leaps for the fly I just swatted his way.

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