A Little Wincing

Dawn hardly breaks despite a late morning hour. October's struggling light reveals an archipelago of rusted leaves dotting the unkept lawn. Clusters of windfall give proof that last night's storm was more than a dream. A chickadee and I chuckle over the idea of anything being more than a dream.

Everyone knows that waking at 2 a.m. is not as poetic or sexy as 4 a.m. No unraveling of the great memoir or the dismantling of men-driven power at 2 a.m. No profound peace. No prophetic expansion of consciousness. Instead, podcasts. A stiff neck. An inventory of acorns rolling off the roof.

Lately, the practical lessons of learning to skate on thin ice. What is this frigid thing? A layer of immobility covers a lake teeming with life. What love means while lacing up skates is different than what love means while doing the breast stroke. It is all overthought and not thought of enough. Tell me the story again of that lumbering bear finding her way through stars and northern forests and the cold caverns of hibernation. Tell me again about how she knows what to do because she can do no otherwise.

For dinner, black bean soup over brown rice, green onions, broken blue corn chips, and the smallest smattering of cheese atop. That's the thing with cheese – the full impact of flavor comes when used sparingly. A fine meal re-smelts all stories and sleepless nights and trails left behind by sauntering Ursidae. It's my latest hope anyway.

geese rising
against fall

and pebbles
in my shoe –

a little wincing
before home