The Day

A September morn
Like any other
Looks like perfect
Autumn weather
You rise and fetch
The Daily Post
To read with your coffee
Egg and toast
Life is simpler now
No hurry
You’re long retired
It’s much less worry
There are chores to do
But no real need
To do them at once
You’ve time to read
Never a history buff before
You’re newly into
The Civil War
You’ve discovered
The genius Shelby Foote
Your current hero
Who’s managed to put
An idea in your head
That you may be
A child of your
Nation’s history
So you take his book
To your easy chair
And read for the rest
Of the morning there
Of the dying men
As the cannon shriek
And the bloated bodies
At Antietam Creek
Of Stonewall Jackson
At White Oak Swamp
And Malvern Hill
Till he comes at last to
Chancellorsville
But now it’s noon
You close the book
Pull on your boots
And go to work
You clean the birdbath
Fill the feeder with seeds
Water the garden and
Hoe some weeds
You gather the eggs
Feed the chicks
And circle the yard
To pick up sticks
You fill a pail
With fallen apples
And note red leaves
High up in the maples
Marvelous how fast
The grass will grow
Again tomorrow
You’ll have to mow
It’s nice
This mix of chores
And leisure
Life seems nearly now
A pleasure
You don’t know
Where the hours
Have gone
But shadows are
Lengthening on the lawn
A lawn with a view
And standing there
Your favorite
Adirondack chair
You built it yourself
A decade ago
Painted it white
And it’s still aglow
You take a seat
The autumn air
Caresses your cheek
And ruffles your hair
A bird sings out
From the apple tree
But not one you know
So you turn to see
As it sings again
Neither cardinal nor wren
A strange new song
But he’s hidden from view
Life always offers us
Something new
The lane to the left
Disappears in a wood
Bringing to mind
A darker mood,
But a lovely meadow
Stretches off on the right
To a golden hill
Washed in yellow light
It’s a meadow you planted
Once in hay
But you had to give
The horse away
So it’s gone to seed
Wildflowers now have it
And tall milk weed
Purple is tinging clouds
In the West
Your heart is welling
With joy in your chest
You look away
To the yellow hill
You wonder what happens
At Chancellorsville
The meadow seems
Wider now...
Than it should...
The strange bird sings again
From the wood...
The
Meadow
Slowly
Then rapidly widens...
Something is wrong, and...
THE REST IS SILENCE