Proud to show off my daughter Nyssa’s latest artwork for Woman with Landscape.
Mist lying in the deep valleys,
sunrise on white windmills, fresh cool air
blowing down from Canada after the rain.
Heard the mate-seeking brag of the rufous sided towhee
before I spotted him posing at the top of the thicket.
On my walk home, I passed a pair of teenage girls
boarding the school bus, talking animatedly
oblivious to the morning chill
in their summer shorts and tiny tops.
A kid pulled out right behind the bus in a banged up Toyota.
He grasped the wheel at ten and two,
wearing a frown of concentration and a baseball cap pulled low.
His studied air made me think he had timed it just so!
Because who wants to be stuck behind a school bus?
Except a guy with a shiny new driver’s license and a second hand car.
Did he hope that every time the bus wheezed to a stop
the girls would turn in the back seat and sneak glances at him,
gazing casually off into the distance,
and note the slight bob of his head keeping time
with the rock tune playing loud through his out-sized speakers?
Perhaps he dreamed of catching a small finger ripple from the redhead,
a half wave that could be turned into a hair flick if not reciprocated.
Did he hesitate for a second – who me?
Before realizing that yes, there was no one else around,
so that yes, that slight dimple in the cheek and finger flutter
must be for him. And yes, I imagined the slow creeping grin
and the deep hollow of lust and loneliness in his gut
flooding with happiness.
Dear Cardinal, I am so sorry
the cat who we keep as a pet
ate your partner.
You advertise for a mate
all over again
from the top of the forsythia.
Is it my guilt that detects a sad note,
or does that beating nugget of flesh
pump regret through your veins?
Either way, I absorb your loss,
buried no doubt as cat shit
under the earth freshly dug for peas and spinach.