Day 27: Not Normal

If it wasn’t for the news I could believe this was a normal day in April.  

The sun is lower now, a quick glance at the clock and confirm 5:11 p.m. Most families will be off the trail, heading home for dinner.  It’s a good time for a walk around the lake.  

Coming up and around the southern end of the trail, I see them.  Hundreds of young thistles standing like soldiers, their singular three-pointed leaf faces worship the bright lake. It isn’t the dark moggy brown water it sees, but the sun.  The sun lights the surface of the lake white, tricks the young and I ask myself, “Does it matter? ”

A murder of four walks towards me, “Children there’s a person.  Put your masks on…” A bike races between us without ringing its bell.  It’s OK, we all saw it coming. The family shuttles pass, the bike zooms away and once again I am alone with the trees and the wide path.  I could sing, no one could hear me—the woods are that thick, but I don’t. 

Sitting at the west side park bench I notice the date on the dedication plaque installed squarely in the ground.  Dedicated to a gentleman born a month before my birthday, exactly, but died in 2002. I wonder, “What was I doing in 2002?” My mind is blank.  All I can think about are the ducks on the lake. Where are their nests?  

A chuckle of college kids is at the beach laughing at death.  Their loud vapor spreading voices travel across the water for the whole park to hear.  That is what still water does. All of these people at the lake, trying to be safe while getting some fresh air and this loud pack acting like its a normal day.  

 

My mood illustrated in meme.  -Be well, Shannon

 

Almost 8

Morning offering of beer bottles gather on the last 
step laid over, laid up, slept past last call
My coffee in too small a cup sits 
with me at a table that limps
Construction worker walks from sandwich shop to truck, 
early enough for the dirty professions, still too 
early for the clean, those bleached-sterile 
by fluorescent preserved in recycled air
Trash in the bushes, empty cup rolls 
along in this morning wind
will it be enough to push over clouds
 that fill this window
There’s my man!  A Hamster: suit and soft shoe, on his bike, 
backpack full of papers, phone, protein bar, water.  
He navigates through intersection of Railroad / 
Chestnut, the traffic light a suggestion
*A “Hamster” is a person who lives in Bellingham, Washington.