Beloved city, looking south, March 1993
On a Quiet September Day
The quiet morning light shines on the small black table,
once my mother's, and on the silver bowl from my wedding,
and on my grandmother's purple cut-glass paperweight.
(Now four men are standing in line, waiting
for their bags to go through the security check.)
I move into the bedroom and pull my mother's trousseau
quilt, embroidered with lavender butterflies, smooth on the bed.
(They are boarding the airliner now, moving
quietly into First Class, walking quiet, sitting quiet.)
In the kitchen I put down fresh water and food
for the cat, and then I move again to the faucet
to water the plants.
(The men sit tightly clasped by their safety belts.)
Now I move outdoors, down the deck, to feed
the goldfish. They flash and suck into the surface
for the flakes, winding around the lily pads
below the waterfall.
(The plane taxis, rises into the morning-blue
sky. The young stewardess smiles,
begins to move down the aisle, offering coffee.)
I come indoors to make coffee. I sit
down to drink slowly and to watch the hummingbirds
flash swift gold, swooping at the feeder, then away
in great free circles, then returning, radiant,
glittering in the sun.
(The men have moved, have seized the
beautiful flashing plane, now head it toward the high tower, feeding on their dark fuel.)
Now I turn away from the shining morning,
and I turn on the t.v. to watch
this day's news.
-- Jeanne M. Nichols