All our neighbors have gone, taking kids, dogs, scars and tans back to town. We are left in the slump of after Labor Day, icing on the cake of summer. I drop the rug I'm dustily thumping, sit down and look. Asters fill hollows with lavender smoke, pitch and foam over banks; goldenrod shifts spears. Cedar waxwings flash and trill like carnival birds at the end of a stick. Young chickadees zip from tree to air snap insects that whirl in final clouds. The local squirrel bites off green apples and tamps them into a cleft of branches. Chipmunks are overworked, pouching cherry seeds. I think of the crop I'll need to pull next spring, along with dandelions still adding to their roots. Mid-day sun at this slant slows everything but the cicada's song rising in the weeds, high on September heat. At the top of the maple three red leaves like a small shock mark stop to summer.