First night of July

Sun-in-SkyBuzzing heat murdered

children’s squeals and shouts at noon.


Swings hang plumb to center,

chains and seats too hot to touch—

brittle grass, frying-pan asphalt.


At dusk, the kids peer out front doors,

turtle back where they came from.


Down the street, machine rattle and hum,

not a soul stirs, dogs pant under cottonwoods,

even cats cower under the shrubs.


Hammocks flutter in a hallway of front porches.

Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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