Updated: Apr 18, 2022
The world sure feels overwhelming right now. Fires, and the pandemic. Earthquakes and images of desperation as people cling to an airplane in a country fallen into terror's hands.
It all feels too much.
I am hiding in the woods today. Touching trees and lingering on leaves of hope for tomorrow.
Today's poem is by Marie Howe
Even when I held my hands over my ears
I could hear the sirens squealing down the avenue:
somebody else's trouble: broken or
bleeding or burned: and the through the porch windows
a bird in the ash tree kept calling out: bleating,
like the hungry cry of a human child and wouldn't stop.
Even when I opened the window
and yelled at the bird, it bleated on
the way a child does when you shake it.
Down the four flights to the courtyard of the building
I could still hear it,
and around the corner to the mailbox: there too.
Cool Hand Luke finally said: Just don't hit me again Boss. Please
just don't hit me again.
And his men turned against him and spit in his food.
No attic anymore; no stumbling drunk, he's dead;
no belt; no pencil; no safety pin,
only a summer afternoon in a small city: porch windows,
bird singing. How many hands does a city have?
Yesterday each one was a sound.
And the bird's trouble? It must have gotten solved
--all that insistent complaint.
By the time I fell asleep, it was quiet.