This Sunday sky is Bermuda harbor blue,
sailing fat clouds close enough to touch.
The heat is smothering. Nothing would
come out from under a rock today. Sun
has bleached the grass and burned ground
to a hardness you can’t push a stick into.
I stretch the hose to keep hydrangeas looking
like large jewels, and the cold water shoots
out of the nozzle like millions of transparent
stars. The thing about Sunday is that
everything feels finished, whether it is or not.
After watering, I sit on the front porch,
the rocking chair monotonous as a
clock’s pendulum. In a cornfield at the end
of my road crows cry out in discordant
voices, and birds slip in and out of
surrounding trees. I watch the dance of robins
on the lawn picking futilely at dry ground.
Crumbling bread out of my hand looks like
summer snow. In feeding them there is
as if their hunger were my own.
R. Nikolas Macioci earned a PhD from The Ohio State University. OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, named him the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio. Nik is the author of two chapbooks as well as nine books. Critics and judges called his first book, Cafes of Childhood, a “beautifully harrowing account of child abuse,” but not “sentimental” or “self-pitying,” an “amazing book,” and “a single unified whole.” Cafes of Childhood was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021 and 2022. He was nominated for the Best of the Net award in 2021. More than two hundred of his poems have been published here and abroad in magazines and journals, including Chiron Review, Concho River Review, The Bombay Review, and Blue Unicorn.