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McKenzie I Sep 17
Dusk,
An orchard in the sky,
Of clementines,
grapes,
plums,
peaches,
fruit abounding,

Families,
mothers,
fathers,
little brothers,
babies,
All stir
In the direction of
Laying down,
Sleep,
Rest,

Every family,
picks fruit from the orchard,
One by one,
until there’s
Nothing
but a blueberry
canvas,
with stars filling in

All heads
Hit pillows
Blankets
Fold over shoulders
Eyes close to
loved ones,
stuffed creatures,
and favorite toys

They all
give in
to the steady
Cadence
of nights
in Suburbia
McKenzie I Sep 17
Deep in the backwoods of the Knoxville antique,
The black marble sky growls,
A panther,
To outsiders—those inside city limits—
The vanishing streetlights and,
Absence of neighbors,
May put them on extra alert but,
Here,
The panther’s like a friend
Watching over us

All day long me and my cousins,
Waited,
For the whispers of night to cover us,
In the last few hours before Independence Day drifted
Off for another year,
We broke out the rockets:
Nine-packs,
Missiles,
Roman Candles,
Sparklers,
Big and small,
The show was about to begin

Darting away,
From explosives right before launch,
Cracking up till
Our lungs hurt,
Bouncing on,
The backyard trampoline—
(I think I got punched in the eye that night
by accident)—
Playing with the border collie named Shadow,

We were frozen in a dream,
No person could break up this night,
Running without legs from parents’ rules,
And from mysterious police,
Hoping that Shadow wouldn’t go
Nuts,
Hurt someone

We were all—parents and cousins—
Drinking
In the elixir of freedom,
Caught in the secret
Between
The night and the countryside
McKenzie I Apr 2020
Smiling softly at you,
Because you make me happy,
Laughing with you in the limber afternoon,
My deep dimples,
Enough to make you tumble and tumble again,
You grab my hand, grazing my ring,
And lead me through the flowers,
Our touch as meshed as cotton in my hair,
You’re whistling through the weeds,
A thousand thorns,
Spill off my shoulder,
Scoop the ground,
We walk and dandelions surround us
Naturally
McKenzie I Apr 2020
One by one the lights go off,
Slowly burning to black,
The kitchen stove, red with heat,
Stills to a cool whisper,
Before the daylight finishes,
It charms us one last time,
Oranges and plums twist into midnight,
The birds stop chirping,
Their chatter sways to silence as the moon takes its place,
Kids close their eyes,
Leaving another day’s mysteries unlocked,
Phones on top of couches quit buzzing,
Cars’ beaming headlights become fewer,
And fewer
Life becomes a flickering candle
Just blown out

— The End —