Eight Melons

August and on the vine eight melons sleeping,
drinking the sunlight, sleeping, while below
their roots obscurely work in the dark loam;

motionless center of the living garden,
eight belly-shaped, eight woman-colored melons
swelling and feeding the seeds within them. Guns

west of the mountain at the Frenchman's Bridge;
they are fighting now at the cold river, they
are dying for tomorrow. While the melons

sleep, smile in sleeping, in their bellies hoard
September sweetness, life to outlast the snow.

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