by Amber Shields
Outside I look through a pair
of dark sunglasses at the sun
behind a stormy cumulonimbus.
The edges of the cloud are tinted rust.
When I take off my shades,
I have to look away.
The oval-shaped shadow steals over me,
And a child begins to cry down the street.
I turn just in time to see the cherry-red balloon
disappear behind the neighbor's roof.
The child's father takes off after it on a bike,
but returns empty-handed.
I walk inside and feel the shiver
of white AC on my freshly tanned skin,
cooling like lake water at midnight.
That night I stand outside
slapping away mosquitoes.
The air is muggy even after dark.
Channel 5 says it will only cool off
if it rains tonight
Channel 11 says no rain
for the next three weeks,
and urges us to follow the watering ban.
© 2002 by Amber Shields. All rights reserved.