Outside my window, thick stubborn leaves
of the hardy, overgrown orange tree’s
sturdy branches shudder and sway
in the sweeping wind of mid-winter cool
on a sunny Southern California day.
Turbulent travel of the upturned earth
make me wince in trepidation,
my eyes burning with a pasty silt
swimming in the tears welled to protect.
Sighs whine, escaping through
too poorly insulated window linings.
This house, soaked with life, is weathered
worn as are most of its inhabitants:
fifty, seventy and eighty somethings.
It creaks and moans in wind and swells
sighs in the rain, arthritic in its painful joints.
Like us, it is in need of repair, extra care
reflecting the love above the strife inside.
We patch it along of necessity;
it shelters us from the cold in gratitude.
Weather like this, near tempestuous
yet mild all the same, mirrors the mood
of a sleepy house after a full night’s slumber.
The question lingers the hours with wonder–
why am I adrift despite a bountiful sleep?
Vexing, the answer weighs in abeyance
mid-way between the poles: acute curiosity
at one end, and the other, impalpable aplomb.
The clime of an indecision, windy-cool-sun,
thrusts itchy thoughts at my scalp like
“When will that email be answered?” and
“When will I know if my request is approved?”
A day like today, gasping and groaning,
agitatedly in disarray, is hospitable
to scalpel-probing limitless presence–
of each period on the page or dust mote
in the sun’s slender dusty ray laser’d on the sill
hedging that testy tree so peevish and pinched
with heat-worn unseasonal, dirty-drawn,
dotted orange orbits a’ring its edges.
The world is edgy and requires a long look
in the hurricane’s eye, fluttering relief
where calming pellucid perceptions lie.
Peace, my restive gusty sense, peace.