Where dirt has silted over shale
rough-headed coneflowers’
pink umbrellas mantle the ridge

creamy elderberry trembles
under bees and iridescent beetles
crawl into fragrant flower cups draping
spikes of yucca poking through

it’s summer along the roadside

sprawling banks of orange daylilies
and black eyed Susan’s shouldering
aside fading oxeye daisies

it’s summer along the roadside

everywhere an aroma of ripening
wheat rides morning wind with
the cloying sweetness of new-mown hay

honeysuckle and trumpet vine
climb the old silo brick by brick
circle posts, subsume the abandoned
filling station’s red bell pumps

it’s summer along the roadside

and dust begins to swirl and eddy
up from gravel where doves glean
and vultures clean last night’s accidents

birds fledge and totter on the overhead
lines and limn barbed wire as swallows
and kingbirds dive above glassy ponds
a sensual bounty overwhelming now

before the burning heat of late July
the dog days of August too soon
shriveling into September so

you settle onto the porch swing and listen
to the last of the day, watch for first lightning
bugs and rise on the swell of tree frogs
stars filling the sky and a new moon shining

it’s summer along the roadside.