In The Everglades
(Aubade of the Seabirds)
I gave you the option-
I woke you with a gentle kiss
You prefered sleep to the sunrise
alone I watched the colors change,
watched the glittering sea
reflect the palette in the sky,
watched the seeming endless flocks
of seabirds do homage to the sun:
a sense of the primordial touched me.
Was I glad, at that moment, to be alone??
In Grand Canyon Village
Perhaps the sight of the vandals sickened
the dirty campsites, the discarded waste,
the vile smell of a half burned mattress
the metal cans riddled with bullet holes,
the doubble barrled gun loaded and ready
to hand on the floor of the rangers truck
I assured you that the human detritus
fed on cornchips and stupefied by drink
would hide in their hovels at the break of day,
their uncouth presence would give no offence.
But you preferred sleep to adventure
I spied the herd of elks soon after
followed them grazing along a meadow
watched them reverse their tracks,
stopped for them as they crossed the road
jumping the fences on either side
the bucks in elegant jumps the cows in turn
some calves stumbling to their knees
I returned to you, keen to tell my tale
you yawned and pulled me into your bed
You wanted to see your silhouette
reflected on the early morning fog
we raced the little rented Nissan
ten thousand feet up serpentines
to beat the sun still bathing in the sea
We reached the summit in time to watch
the ranger skillfully section a pineapple
to reward the chilled and sleepy tourists.
And then it was time for the sun to rise.
Out of the shelter we went to bear wittness
and there, on the wall of fog, we saw
shadows of the shelter and of us all.