Cardinal Caper

male cardinal_1

A male cardinal forages for dropped seeds on a warm June afternoon.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
2019.June.6

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The First Door On the Left

You enter the room where you child self dreamed.
Your dreams have changed but the room has not

The water-stained ceiling has not forgotten how your
salt-caked eyes stared wildly up at its jowls, dazed by
what the day had dealt you, oh so ready to retreat into
your ever expanding skull.

Those walls, those taciturn aunts and uncles, recall
your mirthful mouth making merry after August
birthday thrills and encounters with middle school
Rudy Valentinos.

The pre-Instagram picture window, alone now as it
was then, reflects on who you were, who you are, and
who you may yet become.

You leave the room where your child self dreamed.
The room has changed but your dreams have not.

Mount Takao

Up and up, up the mountain alone,
but not, for the prying sun always
tries to reach me though the stooping
pines.

Up and up, I drag my legs to the summit.
Ancient yet ever-young, our mighty friend
greets me with snow streaked shoulders,
delighted that I have made the pilgrimage.

Green tea ice cream, tasted and savored in
memory’s mouth, cannot be found.
Effort must be its own reward.

Down I start and down I stop.
Frost flowers, crouching within the craggy
folds of the mountain side like hermits
hoping to evade the sun’s judgment, listen
with me to an explanation which I can only
half understand.

Down and down, legs dangerously buoyant,
hopping over rocks that would trip me with indifference.
Faster fellows bounce past me, flying far out of sight.