Summer Is Near

He’s cutting the grass. This kid on a riding lawnmower is mowing down weeds. Tall weeds. Weeds that have grown since the start of spring. We’re now going into summer.

A man is using a weedeater across the street. He, too, is whacking down the tall blades. He has a cigarette in his mouth. Tattoos are on his arms. They look like prison art. R.I.P. Jose is written in green. His clothes are dirty. His face is dirty. He wears sunglasses to protect his eyes from the flying debris. Shreds of candy wrappers and beer cans lay in the yard.

An older man talks on his cellphone, telling headquarters the job is almost done. Asking, where do they go to next?

The kid is done mowing. He pulls out a gas- powered blower and sweeps the sidewalks of all the trash, grass, and weeds. He’s found a dead bird in the rubble. A bluebird that flew around here at the beginning of spring. He flew with others around the neighborhood, the city. Looking down on all of us. How did he get caught in the muck and the mire.

This job is complete now. The man with the tattoo loads up equipment on the back of a pickup truck pulling a flatbed. Noise from the mower, blower, and weedeater have stopped. He lights up another cigarette. Fountain drinks in styrofoam cups are lined up on the tail of the truck. All of them chew on ice and spit it out into the street.

Spring has almost ended. Summer is near. I’m waiting for the fall of leaves.

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