From This Chair

It has to be a certain kind of quiet
when even October’s cricket wears out,
when the owls give up, lay their impossible heads
down to their chests, and no car makes the turn
in front of the house, no kill for coyotes,
my own blood silent—
when newly brittle leaves hold still,
when the wind shifts to the next road,
unsettles the neighbor’s leaves
from their living,
then, into that quiet hour, a rattle
of plaster, scritch and scrattle in the walls,
as the agile hands of mice
work dustballs and human hair, make a crib
to cup a cluster of pinkies,
skin so thin I must write translucent—
though I want to say see-through—
at first light a bluejay drops in,
grabs a branch outside the window,
lucky for this poem the jay’s a daybird,
and lucky for me, here with time,
who hears mice nesting
and the call of one migrating goose
way beyond the upturned bellies of the hills,
who knows to watch for the first to fly over,
sure of the V that flaps behind— here it comes,
an orchestra of honk and bleat,
the lonely cry explodes.

from Mead Magazine,