Daily Archives: September 18, 2021

Lightning Haired Star

Calling the lone white pine
in the neighbor’s yard 
white pine, but also calling it
lightning haired star;

naming the nightly skunks
Lucius, Stripe Priest, and
the Defiant One;

pleading with
the omnipresent sparrows
to step back from
the young cardinals 
on the old feeder. 

We pray on Wednesdays
to the garbage truck,
the recycling truck, call them  
thunder servants
carrying the worst of us away. 
(When there is actual thunder
we misunderstand and think it is
a train. We say, is that a train?
Where is it going, and why is it  
empty handed?)

In the suburbs or
the richer neighborhoods
call us desolate and poor 
if you must speak of us at all,
scorn us for living here
in our dense little enclaves.

We know better. Close as we are
to each other without knowing 
each other by name, but we know enough.
We call the neighbors
the slow walking people up the hill next door
or green house baby girl’s mom
or stay away from that one.

This morning Lucius 
was dead on the street. We 
call for the city workers 
to come pick him up before 
the day’s heat takes his scent
to new levels, although they
won’t come soon enough,
we know.

We watch as the father of 
the slow walking people up the hill next door
comes out with a shovel,
scrapes Lucius up from the pavement,
and puts him in the ground
at the base of the lightning haired star.

Stands there for a bit afterward, staring up,
leaning on the shovel.

Goes, slowly,
back into the house.