The shade betrays the mind-numbing heat. I pick up the muck rake and clean the sunny side of the turnout first. The shaded side is my reward.
The Amazon rain forest burns; will the smoke drift up our way? Second hand smoke, lungs burn here as they burn there.
Words burn, not to escape, but burn away. Oppressive summer renders me into disjointed bits, words and thoughts strewn this way and that. Cohesiveness needs water.
Still no rain. The monsoon season hasn’t done much more than snuffle and puff up a few times, a little spatter perking up the citrus days and days ago. Now we wait. The heat rises, doughy clouds’ yeast, thunderheads’ encouragement. Everything below stills.
The day burns away the morning shadows and the horses sweat. Salt dapples their backs in streaky patterns. I rinse them off with a hose, checking that the water has cooled to a reasonably comfortable temperature. The flies and gnats are few, sizzled on the breeze.
Last week a night snake coiled itself near the front door of our house. The cat stretched out nonchalantly beside it. I recoiled in fear, since the creature reassembled a baby rattlesnake, but on second inspection I saw it was a more benign visitor. I had read that night snakes were getting into homes on a Facebook page, introducing these little noodles to my consciousness. My husband and I urged it out with a broom and sent its slender 19 inches out into the day. It hugged the foundation of our house as it moved, then it was gone. Only then did I realize that it might have been looking for water and I wished I had given it a drink.