The Neighbor Boy

In summer he mows for me.
The swallows follow the shriek
of the lawn mower,
writing cursive above the cut grass,
catching gnats that swing in swirling
baskets lifted by whipping blades.

By August the rains have stopped,
the grass is yellow and dry,
and he stays home,
tucked into an air-conditioned corner
reading the book
I loaned him
on the last Tuesday in July.

—Lisa J. Cihlar, Brodhead