Originally published in Catch Up With Summer, 2015.
The roar of the lawnmower outside the window
is a long way away
in another world, maybe
though I know the men are cutting grass right beside the building.
Out there the workers drink a gallon jug of iced tea
to get through the steamy summer afternoon
and I know it because I see roofers and mowers
and guys driving work vans
lined up at the convenience store checkout in the morning
every one of them holding a container in each hand.
Here I sit in
the quiet library reading room
under a large vent putting out gallons of cold air
from the efficient air-conditioning system.
At the convenience store I bought a cup of hot coffee.
I’m thinking about putting on a sweater.