After School Special
The sugar maple in Pastor Karl and Tina's yard
blazes in its brightest yellow jacket
these eighteen years on West L Street,
the dwarf burning bush I planted two years ago
on the northeast corner of the house is a
hot red, like living flames of love,
warming my soul in this damp,
The tea kettle whistles,
the steam rises to wet my nose,
Earl Gray steeps
in its tea-pot shaped infuser,
the warm cup
in my hands,
a fleece blanket around
my shoulders; I sit in my
wicker chair and
open a book.
Clods and chunks of Earth
bits of withered tomato vines,
cold and fruitless,
stick out of this ground,
too cold to produce,
ready for winter sleep;
marigolds, once smiling yellow
and happy orange,
fade into brown,
Like clock work, I awake before the alarm,
the weight of my body, heavy,
I stumble to the bathroom to pee.
In the dark,
I grapple with my jeans and sweater,
make the bed, and head downstairs
to don my running shoes and sweatshirt.
I open the door
to a sky filled with stars,
cool air that's easy to breathe,
walk the neighborhood three times,
step up onto the curb when two oncoming cars
don't see me.
My joints feel better.
My muscles have moved.
My mind has walked miles.