Labor Day 2020

the failure
of overused tiki torches
with canisters rusted from rain
and leaking citronella so much
they can no longer hold a flame
to fend off the mosquitoes
forces us to the table on the porch
for the first time

encircled by Christmas lights
around the top of the screen walls
and glancing at our phones
we speak of school schedules
the diminishing lives of laptop batteries
and debate the frequency of snow days
from years past

the puppy
banished to the family room
hungry and anxious from separation
(oh she has no idea)
yelps through all the conversations
as the summer of the pandemic
comes to an end.

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