Labor Day

Soap foams like spume on waves
         sloshing toward shore. And the water
is warm as I wipe each dish and fork
         like the sea wipes its sand-caked brow.

Summer is over. My kids sit at the table,
         doing their homework. My husband
outside, his tractor chugging
         as he whittles away his work,

cutting square after shrinking square
         into our lawn. Clouds crowd the blue
in the September sky, squeezing
         the sun into one long beam

leaning like a ladder against our house,
         stretching through my window.
I sense the cold feet
         of winter on the top rung,

heading down. But the water is warm
         as it spills from the spigot like light.
My hands clinging to the cup
         that now runs over.