David Sapp

Joe

I came upon Joe

by chance at the edge

of the lake, in a brilliant

autumn afternoon, saffron,

crimson and bronze

saturating everything in

the arboretum where each

bush and tree was assiduously

classified, labeled in Latin,

nature tidied on little plaques.

Joe was an English professor

who taught composition

and literature now and then

(but nothing too esoteric),

the nicest guy who never

offered an unkind word

(but lacked a firm opinion)

for anyone or much of anything.

Joe appeared vexed,

his phone to his ear,

navigating an apparent domestic

crisis and required an expanse

of sky overhead, a remote

horizon for this negotiation,

only the foliage eavesdropping.

His voice rising and rising,

demanding or was it pleading,

earnestly or was it insistently?

From a distance, I couldn’t say.

I wondered what was so weighty

when, look how gracefully

the blue heron takes flight.

THE COURTSHIP OF WINDS

© 2015 by William Ray