Who Can Say? I’m not There Yet
The path beyond my garden glows for hours
after sunset as winter melts into spring
and spring heralds summer’s pending arrival.
A fringe benefit of living
on the fringe of higher latitudes.
I read that somewhere;
cannot recall exactly where,
it sounds true enough
and I have observed this dim
phenomenon with my eyes.
As I walk the trail of softening afterglow,
I hear an owl cry “Who?” but I can’t see him.
His question is answered
with the question of another owl in the distance,
assumedly her answer to his question
I shrug and keep moving
as nature is never still,
full of questions and answers
leading to more questions.
Suddenly descended an owl from royal-inked skies,
landing on a sturdy low branch of a tree
darker than its own shadow,
his golden-gemmed eyes trained upon my progress,
he tilted his head quizzically, asking me,
“Who are you?”
“I don’t know,” I answered,
in part because I didn’t know,
but also because I was too startled by
the bird’s complete, articulate sentence
to give his question the consideration it deserved.
But mostly because
I had never considered the question before.
“What do you want?”
asked the owl,
briefly stretching his wings.
“I don’t know,” I answered
before immediately recanting
the lie I’d just told on myself.
“I want contentment,
peace, understanding, longer
dusks like this one, too.”
“Where are you going?” asked the owl,
turning his head nearly 360 degrees
to preen his back feathers.
“I guess I’m just following the sun,” I replied,
which was technically true,
but wasn’t always the case.
I once obsessed over success, fearful of
each morning light finding my flaws and failures,
fretting over being caught unprepared
for the next one to shed light on wasted effort.
Now when I think of tomorrow
– if at all – I think of who
will share breakfast with me,
where will whimsy find me at lunch,
and how far will I travel along
the path leading to twilight.
“Who will you be tomorrow?”
asked the owl, taking flight
to the part of the sky
that had already turned night.
He didn’t wait for my answer,
but not wanting to seem impolite,
I answered him anyway.
Written for NaPoWriMo Day 11 prompt:
a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”
I greatly enjoyed this prompt, and reading the interview with Kwoya Fagin Maples was amazing and inspiring. I didn’t know who she was, but I will certainly be getting familiar with her poetry.