29 November, 2012

Pre-December in River City

The dog has finally stopped whining
and the cat is upstairs resting.
Mid-morning Sunday, sounds of the street
filtering through closed window blinds.
A morning chill takes the soothing temptation away
from my second cup of coffee. I am cold, I think.
I should drink more water so I can stay warm.

The tone and shade of the light seeping in is a snitch,
tells me the sun is still shining. My fingers feel the cold,
like they have since the year I lived in New Orleans
where there is no winter – just a damning
and permanent tropical spring.

The neighbor’s chickens in the dirt alley behind the house
pay no attention to presence or absence
of the season’s waning sun.
Winter is creeping down the river,
spreading through the tectonic root structure
carried on choppy currents atop unusually low water levels.
The last birds of the year are amassing,
sending out their acrobatic messages to each other
and to the four winds, calling out
for weather updates and last minute
flight trajectory alterations due to climate change.

After spending years studying the seasonal patterns of birds,
I am learning to smell the air and to feel the subtle shift,
looking to see the signs and slight indications
that will send them off in an anti-gravitational mass.

The seasons of a man’s life should be so fluid—

fluid as that moment between breathes
when, with wings outstretched
like a hundred thousand christs
they will take flight without any concern
about their place in larger order
or if their wings are as grand as their brother’s
and no question as to whether there is a perch
awaiting them after they are exhausted
from a thousand mile flight
dragging the weight of the summer sun behind.