The river had flooded its banks that day
Swirling around tree trunks and stranding
Muddy puddles and mosquitos along our path
We jumped the puddles and swatted bugs
I walked only a step ahead under the sun
Puffy clouds floated above when we froze
Barely breathing as that electric blue dart
Whizzed then helicopter hovered over cloudy puddles
Four translucent silver wings glittering
Two dragonflies dancing in unabashed performance
One simple moment of life affirming perfection
Standing inches apart, inhaling magic
Minutes of awe laying a path
As wide eyes absored joyful views
Drenched in nature’s excellence
Seven AM rowdy bird screams reverb in the oppressive heat
Blasting unknown calls as others sing secret lyrics.
The chaotic symphony infuses my morning with calm.
Serenity amid the clatter.
The definition of contradiction.
I dry my seat from overnight dew as
A shaky speckled fawn sniffs
around the edges of the patio below.
Her saddle a constellation of white dots.
White tail flicking intermittently some
unseen fly as she moves out of my
Coffee spot gaze.
On this other new dawn the weather is cooler. Relief.
The mother stands in the mulch
Just beyond the pool deck munching grass.
Yesterday’s fawn bounds toward her mom.
Baby’s head under belly tilts, grasping teat,
Sucking hard as her baby tail wags at warp speed.
Rhythmically lifting front hoof in time or excitement,
Like any joyful baby thrilling at mama connection.
Because I can answer the questions, I do
Because I can solve the problems, I do
Because I can see my new ex-girlfriend’s mother wilting,
Her shoulders stooped as she begins a diabetic dive,
While her daughter packs boxes, asking which soup
Ladle she can take. “Take them all” I say as I
Prepare her mother a cheese plate with neatly sliced
Cheese and fanned out crackers. I do that too.
Her mother looks from the party plate to my eyes
Sweat on her upper lip from stress and low blood sugar
“You always do too much” she says as she marries a
Slice of cheddar to a Triscuit and takes a bite of relief.
Because I can calm their anxiety, I do
Because I can get it done faster, I do
Because I can hear his tension simmering through the phone
When his proceeds haven’t arrived from the sale that closed
Two days ago, I sit in the theater’s 5th row center seat, clutching
My phone and coordinating a solution. Before the curtain goes up
I text the lawyer and the manager with instructions and suggestions,
Constructing a plan before the lights go dim. I do that too.
Because I know all this, every summer morning I breathe
Crushed lavender buds held to my nose in my cupped hands.
Because I know all this, as often as I can (yes, often),
I escape the phone calls and demands for an hour or two,
While I stroll through gardens of tulips and poppies with
My camera in hand, inhaling beauty and streaming sunshine,
And exhaling worry wrapped in brown paper packages tied
Tight with twine, happily littering the garden’s precious grounds.
Burdens I had accepted are scattered among the tulip petals.