when summer came

by Tricia Gates Brown

my daughter and I carried the spare table out
back, began to live under green and blue.
Spent our days nourished and noticing things.
Like the flamboyance of a single tiger
lily against the foxgloves’ purple foil,
or the way just-fledged finches played like
kids in a fountain as the soaker-hose
drenched their twitching wings.
As men in faraway places carried their
deaths onto buses in bombs strapped to thighs,
we sought the golden lilt of the monarch.
As soldiers bulldozed refugee homes,
ate food stockpiled by the occupied,
we absorbed the tickling scent of blooms,
chased a flashing red to find a box-
elder bug. While men in high places called
assassinations and hookers, we learned the song
of the chickadee, the maple leaves’
hushing. As boys fought to protect our way 
of life, we lived like we knew
we were going to die.