“A Sunday Morning”

by Jaime Zukowski

Thank God for this Sunday morning – human traces
of a week, a month, a moment. The record, noted,
of time’s circle turning, trees and plants assuring
a return of what we name Spring.
Thank our lucky star there are cycles for the moon,
and darkness will return tonight for sleep, and dawn
will wake the living to begin again.
Thank one another we are born unto others,
have a belonging, can hold a tenuous confidence
in the wavering lifeline keeping us afloat –
the ever-billowing web of kinship, the commonality
supporting this now vast family.

This morning, through my western window,
the dark wings of a turkey vulture unsettle a crystal
blue sky. Over rooftops, above yesterday’s now deserted
streets, like the migrant stork of nursery rhymes,
she circles. Chooses a chimney pipe on the tallest
house on the block, and from her high perch, turns
her back to the East. She stretches her wide expanse
of wings and dries out the morning dew. A partner,
it appears, faces her at a distance, watching
from the top of a leafless tree.

This Sunday morning, like none I can remember,
delivers an unfamiliar pause to town and country,
to far beyond. Still, beneath the quiet, we can hear
the music of birds, migrants and the sedentary,
our companions out of doors. Birds sing this
morning as they always do when life is good.
Some seeking mates, others bathing, preening one
another, building, cleaning, finding shelter. They
announce this morning— where there is fresh food,
where it is safe to gather, when to flee. Some hide
in place, others prepare, care for, teach the young.
Each one knows their job, for the group.

A single bird might stretch its wings from time
to time high above the rest. The turkey vulture
today, in her vulnerable pose, heart exposed, closes
her eyelids to feel only the sun on her back.
Must sense, as she was born to do, the presence,
somewhere, of another. Keeping her, her kind,
living. So it must go – today,
and for tomorrow, with every one,
every family, every species,
on this good earth.

© Copyright 2020 Jaime Zukowski, all rights reserved. No reproduction without prior permission.