I am away from home for a week over Christmas. I send good wishes from afar. May the birds have plenty of seeds. May their water bowls be refilled each day. May all the crickets and daddy long legs and lizards and birds and the trees and plants be safe in my absence. I come back to Palm Springs on Amtrak, take the city bus, walk three blocks with the big rolling suitcase I took with me when I left to carry my presents to my mother’s. I see my bougainvillea, my wooden fence. Doves scatter as I approach. I glimpse a hawk gliding after them across the courtyard. I stop in the middle of the road. The hawk comes, settles on the gate before me. I don’t breathe. Maybe I can’t. The timing is too precise not to feel greeted, welcomed, awed, grateful. I stand still long moments while he watches me. When he flies off, I open the gate. I breathe again. I’m home.
Big waning daylight moon
Full heart greeting
my mother’s tree glistens in the window.
At night 120 miles away my solar Christmas lights
glow and arc in the bougainvillea
silent and dear without me.
I sit at the train station beside my bags
cold metal bench at sunset, purple Christmas gloves
the almost full moon watching over my shoulder as I type.
Warm under blankets in the early twilight
cold air on my face
sparrows sing outside the open window.
The bougainvillea rustles, and
a young Cooper’s hawk hops out
hoping for a sparrow.
Standing still on this rain dark morning
I see light in one small corner of the sky
As if today our sun will rise in the northwest.