Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The World Every Morning

As early risers, sometimes we glimpse
in the dawn light the three children
who seven days a week bring us
our newspaper. Three girls, the oldest ten,
all wrapped in responsibility.
We hear mommy sews. They wear pastel
polartec bunny-earred hats
around such earnest faces.
Especially the oldest,
a blue-eyed entrepreneur
and surrogate mother of six siblings.
Her voice, one of authority in the lower
register, a forthrightness that can
only come from that variety of pride
that grows in families made large
for religious reasons.

In our vestibule we detain the sisters
as we write out a check
and figure in a tip. They answer all questions.
“Mommy’s expecting again,” they offer.
Father sometimes pulls the youngest
in a sturdy green plastic wagon these
duty-filled mornings, while the other two
struggle with sacks across flimsy shoulders
as they criss-cross our darkened street
thrusting the morning chronicle into
metal news boxes as if shoving fists and arms
into coat sleeves.

Since September 11th, I’ve walked out the front door
to retrieve the paper and carried it inside
with nary a glance at the headlines.
Breakfast has to come first, before the details
of a world gone mad. News can curdle even coffee.
Borders have dissolved. The latitude and longitude
of international worries make up a new map. I wish
I could carry the paper as jauntily as they.
I can’t hold Montana newspaper carriers
responsible for world events, can I ? They’ll
always come collecting and leave with a smile.
Whatever war we’re waging, the young
deliverers seem never to apologize for bringing
disasters right up on to our property

Friday, November 30, 2007

Morning Song

Morning light drizzles over our dormant shapes.
Eyes open fighting not only the new day
now threading itself across our blanket
but the noises outside our window.
Then one by one you list them
by their song, the sounds
of the sparrows, the chikadees
the buntings to whom you listen
with ears that are decoders
of the dots and dashes of birds.
And so I too begin to translate their songs.
They say true spring mornings never
come up silently. They are listening feasts.
And when I finally achieve an awakening
and can identify one warbling white throat
you turn and your motion is toward me.