Out Back at Sunset

The sun tails west and everything darkens in its path.
I am reading about a storm in the Himalayas
and listening to a little music outside.
The dog has come to my feet, as if to remind me of my sins.
But she gives me eyes that allow me to feel
steady as the cedars along the fence line.
She and I will usher in the end of the day.
We don’t want visitors now, not this evening
sitting out back by the pool in October heat
that has curled the sycamore leaves into little claws
that scritch against the air and ground.
We’ve decided to wait out the day.
What a small pleasure to read
and have a little Cuban music dancing in the air.
We’ll sit here in the heat until the resident geese
fly toward the river, until the sky is ink
and we’re relieved of making plans.
We will set the day aside, dip into the cold pool
before the long trip through darkened dreams.

Jeff Knorr is the author of the three books of poetry, The Third Body (Cherry Grove Collections, 2007), Keeper (Mammoth Books), and Standing up to the Day (Pecan Grove Press). His other works include the co-authored Mooring against the Tide: Writing Poetry and Fiction (Prentice Hall); the anthology, A Writer’s Country (Prentice Hall); and The River Sings: An Introduction to Poetry (Prentice Hall). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Barrow Street, North American Review, Red Rock Review, The Journal, and Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America (University of Iowa).