It's that sort of day--the kind when birds
fly straight for the sun, when mice run
in circles till their tails twist into knots,
and squirrels argue endlessly atop telephone poles.
The mercury explodes in Sam Sander's garage
when the temperature roars over 120 degrees
and Mable Jenkins breaks her big toe-
her pot of cold cucumber soup wriggling
and protesting withdrawal from her fridge
till it slips loose from arthritic hands.
It's a day when frustrated lovers lie separate,
panting on sweat-drenched sheets, and long-married
couples grump about old fissures and decide they should
have married their childhood sweethearts, after all.
On such a day, a day ripe for miracles, a day
prime for Gary Cooper to ride in on the twelve o'clock
special, a vagabond appears,tells anybody
who'll listen about dire deeds forgiven
and roads paved in gold, roads leading
anywhere and everywhere but here.