Walking the West Side
Having confirmed with each other over breakfast
what day it is, we are walking a slow mile
on the west side—the winsome mix of local artists,
their front-yard galleries. My mask dangles
from one ear, my wife’s pulled down
below her chin, at the ready should someone
appear up ahead or from behind,
or suddenly step out the door full-featured.
Grateful for a day’s reprieve
from the hurricane’s spinoff storms, we walk
the four points of the compass, taking in
the yard signs—No Hate, Buy Local,
the amusing Helicopter Rides $20.00—
as well as the Little Free Libraries, some
achieving objets d’art. We stop to read the spines—
pristine, tattered—of each librarian’s modest offering,
New Age Baby Names missing its cover.
Our final block, the brightly worked gardens
of longtime dwellers…hostas and grasses,
zinnias, phlox, purple asters…but the morning
stopper is the perennial troupe of tall naked ladies
standing just below a fence dripping with morning
glories, above it all a lone dove on a low-slung
power line, its coo as soft as lamb’s ear.
Home again, having touched nothing more
than each other, we wash our hands,
the answering machine pulsing
its desire to speak to us.