Love Song to a Small Town
Snow alights treacherously down upon the railings of the deck overlooking the pond disguised as fat innocent puffy soft flakes
where the ducks sleep restlessly
one eye open for the black bear in the orchard
one eye open for the coyotes trash talking behind the dog yards.
Our wolfdogs trash talk them right back
the hillside rings with the singing of the Brethren
Wolf & Coyote.
The guinea hens spook at every shadow which passes overhead, hawk or sparrow, it is all the same to them, all is danger, all is sorrow
They have short memories, however, and as soon as the shadow is gone, they go back to their chuckling and hunting.
I wonder if the bugs they hunt do the same shrieking and hiding as they spy the dangerous shadows of the guineas.
I wanted solitude, I wanted to touch the wild within me
the wild which was being smothered in the smog of Southern California,
crushed beneath the developers’ mitigating circumstances
as they bulldoze yet another riparian area unto insignificance.
I hungered for the solitude and quiet
and that, I got, in spades.
Now widowed, I have all the solitude I can stand.
This past week, I missed a bill, and have been disconnected
from the internet.
Like Joni sings, you don’t know what you’ve lost ‘till it’s gone
and like an ache, like a shadow limb severed unbeknownst to the brain which thinks it still controls it,
I miss the connection.
I miss the daily chat and the silly games.
I miss hearing the voice of the man I am seeing before I sleep.
And I wonder about that
as I watch the crackling of the ice which covers the pond
like traceries and veins of the Mother
a milky slip of crenalated silk overlaying the deep violet blue of the pond
with the stumps arising from the depths like loons in the mist
No matter how many times I pass them knowing what they are, I still give them a second glance to make sure they have not shape-shifted into the Earth Birds that I know they really are.
Grounded frozen into the pond, dreaming of flight.
Love is for the young they say, and if that is so,
I am still so very young,
Because I love
Strong and different this time ‘round, more direct
patient yet urgent
patient yet passionate
patient yet wild like the howls of the wolves.
Time does that to a person.
I always thought I would disappear into a puff of blue smoke
when I hit 30.
I did not.
Instead, I moved to Oregon and started a new life
where I watch the snow drift silent down upon this land
where I love
where I live
where I have found the solitude I wanted
and the love that I needed
and the life I never knew I could have.