Workers in blue lounge by their truck, slowly eating sandwiches and apples,
each fingernail end a new moon of dirt,
each bare head sweaty with summer.
Safety helmets laid down gleam
like a clutch of gold eggs.
A small girl in a white dress comes by,
regards them from behind her popsicle,
her face orange with it. She offers a bit
to one man, who takes it carefully,
clipping it off with his wiped jackknife.
Another man rises slowly, ceremoniously,
places on her head a wreath he has made
of cottonwood leaves pinned together
by their stems. She smiles.
They smile. They salute her with upraised
sandwiches. They choir approval,
watch her, with the eyes of fathers,
diminish down the sidewalk,
hair bouncing under her green crown.
In the silence a summer locust sings
its harsh, passionate song to the heat.