Lying along side each other under an eiderdown

patchwork quilt, a sunrise glimmer of scarlet

rays peak through century old hand-blown

glass window panes; scurrilous chimunks

scurry up and down chit-chatting, connoisseurs

of hickory nuts, acorns and seeds they build

nests out of bits of dry straw between hoary

plaster walls and lathing covered in a mortared

mix of horsehair, lime and teeny white pebbles.

She thumps the wall with the heel

of a shoe. The critters snitter and guffaw

at the futile effort to scare them away;

morning silence is marred by the return

of workers clamming with gas pumps

on this month’s major ebb tide, sucking

out every last quahog and soft shell steamer

on the shore of Saint Mary’s Bay.

Except for his hand cradling her pregnant belly

with an idle finger plugged into her omphalos,

only their bare feet touch, connecting body

and soul, grounded as a zapped current

transmitted when jump-starting a battery.

Like best friends who stayed up too late

on a sleepover they remain pajama-clad,

too much at ease to get out of bed listening

to the whooshing wind, a hint of autumn

heaving black locust branches to and fro,

fluttering leaves already tinged with crimson-

gold whirling under a pearlescent-blue sky.

Going home they tread solemnly, reluctant

to let go of the bedazzled glow of summer days.

Arm in arm they pass apple trees heavy

with scoliotic bowed branches laden

with so many aurora golden apples they nearly

touch the ground. Regretting the end of summer

they embrace the harvest and each other,

breathe a deep sigh and head for home

and the work-a-day world vowing

to renew their aquaintanceship next year. M. Ehrlich 199 Christie St. N.J.07605