Morning at Walden Pond
Because no sunrise is a rerun,
no day quite like another,
he built the cabin, grew the beans,
set up three chairs, a bed, and table.
Sat in the doorframe and let the breeze
swallow him. Sometimes whole days
with no language but the old woman's voice
which was never one, but many, in chorus or contest.
Water lapping the rocky shore. Birds, fish, cicadas.
The scrape of knife on whittled sapling.
Not to say I’d take it up, not this round.
But I get it. Dew on the window,
the cat almost awake at my feet, the blinds lit
with a glow not there when I closed my eyes
the night before. The wonder of rotation,
revolution. How it happens without us.
That it happens, when it happens, within us.
Drill and Disaster
So you get the memo.
The tornado drill will happen
at 10: 40, this morning. You wait,
like you used to, for recess.
But this time, no kid stuff.
This time, they've told you
when the drill will happen.
This time, they trust you
to follow the plan.
To know which stairs to take,
to remember to open the windows,
to move efficiently. To not panic.
To put your hands over your head
and to understand that this,
like school, is only a rehearsal.
That this, like all trial runs, will
never prepare you for the real thing,
but only for the next drill.
Which is okay because drills
are the best disasters: traumas
that never happen, catastrophes
you plan for. Between the memo
and the siren you know
when it will hit and what you'll do:
Crouch and kiss your own knees,
slow your pulse, breathe deep.