All Fools' Day
by Michael Brockley
by Michael Brockley
You stare at your backyard through your patio window while drinking chai and thinking about a woman you last saw five years ago. It's April 1. The spirit of your white German shepherd still scampers after red squirrels and digs at the chipmunk dens beneath your deck. You sip your tea. The spice arouses your palate. You can hear your late shepherd howl at train whistles as the ghosts cross McGalłiard Boulevard. Your body sang to you while you sat beside her in the theater where a man took midnight walks through Paris. Where an actor found redemption after his fall from grace. Your chai is still warm. The woman will be bicycling through Key West now. Anticipating an afternoon sharing key lime pie with a man who resembles the French actor whose name you can never remember. In your disheveled yard, a cardinal perches on the lee side of a red maple to begin his spring courtships. Your dog sleeps in the peach tree's shade. Five years ago, she photographed the narrow, shadowed streets of Madrid. Shared her family genealogy with its rogue's gallery of river pirates and scalawag dukes. A pair of cardinals once nested in her arboretum. Your cardinal swoops and glides the length and breadth of his domain as he woos three hens, including last summer's beautiful albino. You wonder at his acrobatic ardor. At the finesse that has eluded you throughout your life. The male alights beside the albino. You set aside your chai to reach for the morning song within yourself.
Michael Brockley is a semi-retired school psychologist who still works in rural northeast Indiana. Several of Brockley's poems have appeared previously in Flying Island. In addition, his work can be found in Atticus Review, Gargoyle, 3Elements, Tipton Poetry Journal, Third Wednesday and Tattoo Highway. Poems are forthcoming in Riddled with Arrows and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan.