I stand, washing dishes and feeling the years
gurgling as they circumnavigate the drain;
the present gapes from the center, noisily sucks up my life.
Outside, behind a screen of saplings,
a deer walks gingerly at the edge of the wood,
stops, and sniffs the air;
a black crow perches on the branch of a tree
whose crabapples glisten like rubies; he calls
to his cronies who, fluttering black, cluster among the limbs.
And I am here.
I fling open the door, traipse through the dewy grass,
my socks wet and a damp wind slipping beneath my collar.
Why do I stay? It has to do with the way
weather comes in waves: first, sunlight bathes the hills
like laughter, the autumn trees shine golden light,
and the dew on the grass sparkles; then purple clouds
glide across the sky sprinkling rain. Minutes later,
hail patters the ground and there are a few wet flakes of snow.
Suddenly the clouds are gone, the sky is blue,
but you can see the hail still slashing the valley
and the rippling of the storm over the landscape.