There is one corner of the yard
in which I cannot see the buzzard tree.
Sometimes, I take my aluminum
folding chair, the one
with the frayed blue mesh,
and I set it in that corner,
and I forget about death.

I have to wear my sunglasses
because the sun peeks
around the house in that corner
but if I face the fence,
I can still see the twig-
stick upper branches
that won’t support the birds
but remind me of what’s underneath.

I take care not to look in the windows,
the stacks of bills:
ambulances, life-flight helicopters,
ICUs, neurologists.
It costs a lot to be saved.

Mostly, I just sit in the chair.
When he is done doing doggy things,
the dog will sit beside me,
the way he does, always guarding,
but uncertain if the threat
is the sun or the tree.

On a good day, I throw
him tennis balls. On a really good day,
I take out the bottle of bubbles,
wind the wand through the air
like a magician,
scan the convex surface
for reflections, simultaneously
transparent and opaque.

Tiff Holland's: poetry and prose have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, e-zines and anthologies and have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her short story "The Boys" was named a notable story of 2008 by StorySouth Magazine. She lives in central Texas.

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