There were rabbits under the porch
chickens in the yard
climbing up wires.
They bloomed purple
before the sun came up.
Old dogs laid around
in cool grass
on hot days.
And when the work had slowed in the fields
the men came in
to be served iced tea.
They leaned against shade trees
with one foot propped on the bark
their hats pushed back on their heads.
Their bibbed overalls were dirty
with hay dust.
They talked and laughed
and drank tea
until they had their fill.
I watched until nothing was left
but empty glasses
and memories of the men I knew.
I leaned against the same shade tree
propped my foot on the bark
pushed back my hat
and pretended I was one of them.
I would stand there
until the rabbits
came out from under the porch.
It was the last summer of my youth