The world is seen best with natural light.
All the lines are crisp and clean first thing
in the morning: blue winter sky seeping in
through half open blinds, all sleepy houses,
the outstretched limbs of trees stripped naked,
leaving no protection for the squirrels scurrying
for winter stores in the lingering autumn.
Yuletide is coming. Christmas decorations adorn
the more festive houses on the block,
and the mall Santas are checking their beards
against altars to Rockwellian archetypes.
The garbage men have not yet arrived.
Possums and office workers have scurried
underground and away. It’s still too early
for all but the most dedicated daytime drunks
and commerce continues unhindered
in spite of the unemployment rate.
Crumbling blue collar houses cast deep shadows
in relief against the December blue sky,
etching themselves between the cracks in the street
the city never has the political will to repair.
All the starlings have gathered, taken final counts
and are waiting for the first real northern wind
so they can stretch their wings out
and be carried away the way children are told
all prophets and holy men are carried away
in the whoosh of a wind before the arrival
of the cold dark days in which every errant ray
of sunshine is a savior, Spring is a freshly planted messiah
rooted deep in the moist earth
and fed by homeless saints at midnight
when all the good folk are tucked safe
and dreaming of permanent sunshine.
*Image by Amanda L. Hay