I slipped from room to room,
opening curtains and windows
for a breath of fresh air.
In first son’s room,
he who loves the dark,
I drew back the yellow curtain.
Dark of early morning mid fall, I
looked down to the deep grass,
wet dark fence,
jasmine vines still green tangle,
one burst of red among the leaves,
a cardinal alarm to wake the day.
Later, I return from drop-offs,
I find myself still alarmed,
want movement and more air.
I find the bicycle tires flat,
Forego resuscitation, and grab the leash.
I ran, the dog ran, too.
She wondered what to make of it –
rare beyond rare –
through the traces of fire in the trees.
The sky greyed up
more so than that early hour,
and the black birds repudiated
the gifts the sky brought in fat wet drops
to wake relief in the dank morning.