In the muggy heat of early Fall, I lounged,
alone and weak, on a brown wooden bench;
Day surrendered to dusk, and mutely I gazed across
the grass, the trees, and wrinkled violet sky.
A pale young cardinal flew to my feeder,
its soft brown tufts lending a tender life to both
my thoughts and the humid air they slept inside.
Not sure I deserved her here, I kept so still
and distant, not wanting the bird to fly away -
not calling - taking cautious steps through grass.
But was I careful for her sake or for mine?
Perhaps they were as selfish and cowardly
as my dozing - fearful to move, or change too fast?
In meek flutters, the cardinal left, I creeping, yet still,
to the swishing feeder in the air now empty
of the sun's last rays. I knew too late that she
did not want silence, but life and holding warm -
crisp chirps and arm waving and kisses steady and long.
Returning in the black, I take up my bench,
my glass, my quiet and thinking, alone once more.
In the heat, my frail arms shiver constantly.