Carpenter bees create cones
of sawdust on splintered crossbeams
spanning the old barn where I stand

tumble pyramids of golden dust
with just the tip of my finger
feeling each grain carved out

by tiny moving jaws as
females bore holes where
they will lay their eggs

larvae growing robust
while each trusts in nature’s
metamorphic sleight of hand

waiting on the black Labrador who must
race again to retrieve today’s toy
a nubbly hedge ball already encrusted

with happy slobber slickening my hand
but he trusts me to throw it again and again
until happily exhausted he comes to sit

his panting tongue matching throbbing locusts
drowning out the bee’s gentle buzzing
so that I’m overcome wanderlust

feeling summer’s coming to an end
and not quite ready for August
ironweed and goldenrod that drape

roadsides waving in a sudden gust
of wind heralding autumn while here
new sawdust trickles grain by grain

as I bid the lab goodbye and toss the hedge ball
once more time suddenly remembering Cummings’
In Just… Eddie and Bill and the balloon man

Spring cycling into Fall and the almost sadness
of it all so that I grab my pack for one last hike
beneath white clouds sailing over the road.