It was Stu’s brother I was mourning, and for the first time as I wrote this poem, being able to let go of just a little. Stu’s presence had a lot to do with that; I had something to look forward to to give shape to my week, and someone to share the beauties and small joys of my home with.
A Day Too Perfect for Mourning
A circling kestrel defines the bounds of my garden,
Silently annexing my territory into his own.
Raptors don’t give terms, only brief concessions:
Tonight he’ll leave my feeders ungleaned
And let me indulge myself without guilt or regret
In the beauty of his speckled underwings,
His effortless glide over my neighbor’s pastures.
A last sound like a fingertip drawn over the teeth of a comb,
And the greenfinches fall into abrupt, unaccustomed silence.
I haven’t been a thing to be feared or fled for weeks now,
And the male peers out at me: Olly olly oxen free?
About oxen I have no information, but the sheep are safe.
The finch is better off huddled in the yarrow bush for now,
Clutching the materials of Asian divination in his perfect feet.
Today isn’t a day for mourning. It’s for tea in a saltware mug
And the small, warm shock of wanting you here to share it.