Saturday, July 30, 2011

In these moments (for Jack and others just diagnosed) by Elsie K. Neufeld

whir of a fan as it turns
on its stand, sideways and
back, blades blowing out
long, cool breaths like a
metronome’s path. Even
the cat's fur is ruffled
as table’s green cover rises
and falls like a chest. Puffs
of air trembling a fresh
arrangement of orange
orchids, lemon bright
callas that, shaded, furl
into scrolls, open again
in summer's blue

light. a skirt of salal
brushed briefly aside
from neck of glass vase.
Low hum unsettled
by scrape of a card
that will not be
felled by a gust as those
already toppled from
shelf. It is evening, it is
morning, the blades are
a story spun over and
over like alarm bells tested
today in the hall as if
saying it once, twice – to
the nth degree – will
make it all right.

A gull on the edge
of a high rise stands
on one leg, scratching
its bent head and chest.
A pigeon on opposite
end spins like a dervish.
Is seeing believing?
Cloud wafted past window
isn’t a cloud, it is
the dust of men drilling
concrete or maybe a white
snippet of hair, cut and
swept up in a draft.

Soon, the black
barges will burst open
the night sky and
Celebrate Light, but
now, in these moments
the tide of traffic on
Beach Ave. echoes
the waves' wild break
and recoil. Pigeons
lift off to the sound
of their own wings’
clapping. The gull
drops its leg and turns
like a fan to face  
another direction.
Still breathing.

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