After Waking

Morning in America: sunlight
climbs the house fronts
and the pines grow high
while last night’s speeches are dissected
on the early television shows.
Deer move nervously to water
as hawks come to their winter skies
and interest rates are sleeping in.
There’s clear sky today
with the occasional wail
of a train pulling freight from China
plus short bursts of lawnmower noise
when Mexicans are working
on Sunday. Candidates’ faces
appear in homes from burning California
to Manhattan, each making threats
rephrased to sound like promises
and democracy’s ragged edge
frays by a few strands more.
We’re still a little bleary-eyed
this morning, listening
to the coffee maker hiss, watching
sparrows pick what they can find
from round about them,
waiting for the weather forecast
and the latest death toll
from Iraq and Syria, to mix into
the cereal of choice at breakfast time.

David Chorlton is a longtime resident of the desert zone in the Southwest, a landscape he is very attached to. Before Arizona he lived in England and Austria, and he has finally seen publication of a book decades in the making: The Long White Glove from New Meridian Arts. Nothing to do with poetry, rather a true crime story from 1960s Vienna. Read other articles by David.