She's Gone Again
Just visiting this time
So I expect her back
But lonely for all that
House echoes are different
With too few bodies in bed
Used to being counted among
prowling people of the night,
somehow my circadian rhythm
reversed polarity over years.
Now I break day differently,
greeting each dawn graciously,
rather than defiantly cursing
threads of light and noise.
Bubbling gurgles of runoff,
well-kept sprinklered lawns,
more soothing now than
soft swirls of soiled toilets,
dispelling smell and stain,
vomit and alcohol diarrhea.
In past serving as beds and comfort,
depending on one's point of view,
gutters now are salutary, rather than
discriminatory, liquid sounds melodic
counterpoint to early morning traffic.
Other dawn breakers now curse the sun,
longing for dark, hiding desires of the night;
secretly I know best who's better off,
being no longer hunter or prey, but
just another member of the dawn patrol.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Southern California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his druthers, if he's not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.