House of Time


The furrowed skin of the peachleaf willow

chafes into the gray, gathering nourishment and

winter’s camouflage, a proper

blind for a band of mourning dove, cooing in

chalky plumage, lit by the dawn’s diffusion.

Across the creek, the redwing blackbirds buzz aloft in

the bare cottonwoods to devise their being in

the element of now. It is a cruel

human aptitude to see around corners or

too far into the future, to set one’s pace by chimes or

alarms, or calendars. A miserable tyrant is the counting of days.

I begin too many days determined

to live backward from the moment of my

death to today,  a strategy taught to me by

Thanatos himself. Though by now,

I have lived in this house longer than any

other house, in all my years, this house on the creek flowing with the

blood of willows and cottonwoods,

this house has coursed into me from

the earth. I am held here against the

perennial foreground. I walk out into eternity every

morning. This is the place my children leave me

standing, rooted, time and again. This is the place to

which a broken heart will haven from a

rite that leaves the other in the wind, the surest

passage into the now of blackbirds.

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