Outside the dining room window,
last year's twins cross the road with their fawns,
the sound of deer hooves on the pavement
like a hard stacatto of rain on parched clay.
They forage and browse on oak leaves,
the dry grass seethes with crickets.
Little nourishment there.
I'm sitting on my cousin's wreck of a front porch,
watching the traffic whip and grind its way
around the baseball diamond cum village square,
like it was the Indie 500 & bluejays squall like cop cars.
They all rubberneck, I learn to ignore them.
I do not know which type I hate more, the gawkers,
or the ones that make you invisible.
They are all trespassers on the sheaves of morning.
I imagine the commuters to be a smoggy tempest wind,
a dopplegang of music pulses from their coffinships.
At least they make the sharp turn: some didn't.
Sitting on this porch can be more than a moving violation.
Sinead's lost two parked cars to the road warriors, I've lost one.
Victor stops at the bend in his Porsche,
shouts "Hello," mistaking me for my cousin.
Guns off in first gear in his glove of a car.
Cat-eyes on the double line crunch beneath his tires.
The road unequally divides them into friend and foe.
My aunts are managing the shape of their death
in the unforgiving language of cancer.
Two cyclists, oblivious that I can hear their every word,
disparage the sorry state of this porch
and how this is such a ridiculously small town.
I answer their good morning with: "It's not a town, a village."
Two ravens croak and chuff as if in agreement.
Autumn bite in the air, laptop keeps my lap warm,
Cheetos the cat paws and laps from the water bowl,
strokes his dish, marking it with his "all-mine" scent,
half-heartedly fends off the bluejays poaching his kibble,
then inexplicably wants to share my lap with the laptop.
Meanwhile, two hawks keen in the blue bowl of a sky.
The cattle low, forage in brown pastures
and thirsty deer head down to the dry creekbed
for their morning drink out of genetic habit.
Upstream houses have robbed the creek of its water
for their luxury pools and extra bathrooms.
Deer learn to slake their thirst from bathtub troughs.
Between rare bouts of of utter country silence,
flies and hornets sing their small song in the weeds
as woodpeckers plumb the final depths of the dying oaks.