Compline for a Summer Night

The kind of evening that melts the Breyers
over my peach pie, finally a breeze
of welcome on the porch, one star rising
in a lapis sky, bruised pink -
I settle by a stifled rose
to listen for a cricket, watch for a firefly
and remember... In this meditation
one must leave the TV on inside
just loud enough to hear the ball game,
a prayer to my grandfather who loved
the Orioles. And I think of the pale driver
of the ice cream truck, his sad chimes.
I remember the way heat lightning
rumbled all night without rain, and how
at golden noon the plastic tasted
when I inflated the bright blue seahorse
with all the breath I could take from the sky.
I remember the mysterious odor
of water in a hose, delicious, cool and
rubbery out of the earth, the musk
of the primeval spring house, plop
of amphibian silence, the hum
of an Evenrude outboard engine
vanishing into silence
over brackish water, the heron
standing all that afternoon on one leg,
a penitent finally ascending
on twilit wings, and over the alfalfa field
a blessed mist enfolding
half-asleep horses, swishing their tails
all night as morning glories sprawled
on fence posts, waiting to be born again -
these are my sacred sutras, late
August memories, guiding me deeper
into the Presence that remembers nothing.