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Fair Dreams

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August was wearing fall's perfume tonight
but it was subtle,
just a cool dab on a warm wrist
so that I smelled it more
with my skin than with my nose.

I've been coming out at night
to sit in summer's last dark.
By eleven, the crickets' thrum and traffic noise from Cedar
is punctuated - boom, crack, sizzle -
by fireworks; another night closing on the Minnesota state fair.

I smile to imagine sleepy, sticky children,
drunk on fried food and the midway,
bobbing heavy heads in homeward bound back seats.
   Perhaps they dream of Butter Queens
    and the soft pink of spun sugar and baby pigs.

There is so much we have to change in this world,
so much to do, so little time,
but I will let myself have this.
I will tuck the small pleasures beneath my vest
to save for winter.

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