What privileged robins live in my back yard…
racing through the sprinkler, barely giving me any notice…
but WHO, may I ask, tipped over the big blue pot under the umbrella?
Emil Catt, was it you?
before the traffic…
before even the neighborhood dogs were out snuffling in their yards,
I hit the open space…
all the birds were in diversionary action mode…
robins, running ahead of me, away from their nests…
red finches flitting from tall grass to tall grass…
no coyotes, though, too late in the morning for them, I imagine. The sun had been up at least half an hour.
The grass in the gulch is not yet high enough to mow;
the willows promise to be full and greedy all summer long…
cattails just greening up…
and Emil Catt has begun a new habit of slurping his morning drink of water from the day lilies, coming back into the house soaking wet, and leaving paw prints on the new wood floor in the kitchen…
and now it’s 8:15
so the day’s work must begin
the luxury of a slow morning
packed up until tomorrow…
The sun was such a tease
hanging just below the horizon
like it might decide to not come up this morning.
Regardless of that decision, the trail brightened the longer I walked,
my hands pulled into my sleeves,
my shoes crunching on iced gravel
following coyote tracks that veered off towards back yards
where Charlotte, Sue’s sweet cockapoo, and four chickens live.
They forecast snow today. Without clouds?
Prepare for cold and damp. With these rapidly bluing skies?
That blasted woodpecker annoyingly yaks from atop next door’s tallest willow.
Fat robins pull and pick apart fat worms.
My favorite mourning dove stares me down above the empty feeder,
and North Korea held its largest missile test yet last night.
Each morning this week,
with or without clouds to obscure it,
a huge, burning, orange sun rose in minutes, seconds, nano-seconds;
quickly enough to make you burst into applause on the trail in the open space
much to the startlement of the chickens three houses up from the corner.
Happy the tree with a swing in it!
A wide arching rope with a disc at the end.
The type at which a young kid takes a flying leap,
grabs with one hand, the other flung out like a wing.
The sort that invites loud shrieks and giggles,
pirate yells, or “bombs away, or a general “AUUUUGGHHH!”
The grass beneath it no longer exists.
The roots of the tree laid bare.
Mom’s good wicker chair from the front porch
is leaning against the trunk, ready to help the smallest flying monkey,
after grabbing the swing and climbing into the seat,
swing back and forth, head thrown back, eyes closed,
both hands ’round the rope in a death grip.
Even after Mom hollers, “Time to come in!”
the swing swings free in glee.
It waits this morning for not just the sun,
but the son and the daughter and neighbors,
to finish their breakfast, and brush their teeth,
then really start the day flying.
April 2, 2017 upon watching Martha Radditz on a Sunday morning show
oh, what of the clouds building over Mt. Evans…
here at the light on County Line at Quebec
the sky is clear
the sun is etching new lines ’round my eyes
and for this thirty seconds
nothing in the world is off kilter
…oh, quit your honking!
This is the truth I have come to know:
people are not dead until they are dead,
and maybe not then.
You cannot talk over them, pretend they are not there.
You cannot plan without them, assume they don’t care.
They are here! They are here, and fully aware.
So quiet the panic as best as you can,
sit down, shut up, take hold of their hand.
Just at this moment it is not about you.
Cry if you must, wail and weep,
but sit there, and listen, and live in the moment,
while they are here living with you.
I spent a few hours, actually only minutes, remembering and reliving things that crushed my heart these past few years…the tears flowed, the breath caught in my chest…BUT I just cannot do it for long…I cannot dwell on loss and betrayal, sickness and what follows…I cannot do it and still see the sun, catch the humor in an oft repeated knock-knock joke, taste the salt in the caramel…so much is lost reliving the past…so I pulled them out, but very soon put them back in their respective boxes and will now shower, dress and attack the blessed puzzle on my coffee table before lunch with good friends. Let your hearts be glad, m’dears…it’s easier and sweeter that way…