In a Pestilent Time
I say to Kathleen, hey, let’s leave this maison hantée
where our turned down TV murmurs grim numbers
of those diseased or despised, news like a tongue,
barbarous and bugged with sonar to sound us out.
Let’s walk down to the sun-punched pond, gone
gummy with algae, studded with lilies, bounded
by crocosmia lucifer, red sparks flung from whorls
of tall stems. Let’s watch the motionless water
for whatever we cannot see below the surface
to reach some amphibious limit, to pop up
for its quick swig of air, now aflare with a dazzle
of fireflies. Let’s cross the paths in grass I made,
full throttle madman, the clippings roostertailed
from my zero-turn radius riding mower.
Let’s walk on through the curtain of cedars
to the concrete bench where a woodpecker
hammers high up in a tree and we can hear
the wheeze of easy waves breaking on the
Glass Beach below the old garbage dump bluff.
Let’s sit till a column of setting sunlight falls straight
at us across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and we seem,
on our bench, to become part of its entablature
which makes us feel strong, enduring and spared.