The Best Time to Be Here
When we go to the mountain, my husband looks for bats, marked by fast fluttering and ditzy circles, high above us
and he does his best
calling for owls, which I adamantly denied were there, unwilling to humor him, for a full on eleven years, before there was one.
Naturally I had to confess, he was right
so that now when he who-who’s, I stop to listen for the response of any true witnesses in our fox-wedding church.
He’s reverent of the black-hooded juncos hopping across our path,
gingerly follows the lone red-headed sap-sucker hammering around the trunk of a Douglas fir until the bird loses its nerve for lack of privacy,
and stands mesmerized by the number of goldfinches ornamenting the branches of a plum tree and blackberry brambles he can’t wait for
when we can forage like bears.
The aggressive squawking of a jay has his eyes rolling for the blue and he points at last to where the crows scold and angrily mob the brazen egg thief.
He spots a red tail hawk feather, and picks it up, cherishing it as a gift from his father.
A robin does its quick running-walk and snatches a plump earth worm,
song sparrows call out for love,
and humming birds throw kisses at us.
A sky of fleeting tangerine and pink salmon fire sun
sets through the black silhouetting trees
and he says to me, “There’s our light, sweetie. This is our time on the mountain.”
Head Over Heels (Doin’ the Hokey Pokey)
You say, hey sweetie, I want you to listen to this song, it reminds me of you,
and you sing those lines to me before you gently place needle against vinyl,
…and when she walks she walks
and when she talks she talks…
You say, hey sweetie, you remember the walks along the delta bed we took to the wood bridge?
Past the almond tree?
Where the jackrabbit took his chances in the fields and the sparrow hawk took his dives?
How the sun forced us to stare at our footsteps,
light was louder than sound
and we gushed about the colors of stones dancing with their own shadows?
Of course I do, I say, You held my hand until you had to share with the wildflowers I picked for your Pop
I set the daisies and clover blossoms, the Queen Anne’s lace and foxglove in a jar next to his chessboard,
and I asked you to teach me about seeing three moves ahead
to protect my king.
You smile your big beautiful smile and say, hey sweetie, you’re the only one that can do the Crunge
and nobodies business can follow your
when you put your whole self in
and shake it all about...