Madison, August 1 ~ Robin Chapman



Dear Ones—I was eating oatmeal

in the garden that was shining in praise

of last night’s quarter inch of rain,

every leaf and petal lifted glistening,

and the phlox’s vanilla perfume drifting

in the new damp cool of morning,

mixing with my latte; eating gratefully

in the temple of trees at the base

of that green hill filled with rising

and flowering, listening for the music

that accompanies such a day;

puzzled to hear no cardinal

or chickadee or finch, only angry calls

of crows and jays, the chipmunk’s

urgent chirping. Later, opening

my front door, I understood

what I should have known earlier:

the Cooper’s hawk sat there, huge

on the telephone pole, his eyes briefly

on me, his white implacable breast

gleaming in sunlight, unmoving

except for his sharp eyes now scanning

for scurrying in the greenery.