The neighborhood Red-tail floats
late Sunday afternoon above
the warm tranquility the hour
becomes with time at rest between
the morning and the evening
news. He’s circling the pond,
dipping and rising, body
anchored in the light
as it casts a glow
on all the small eternities back yards
become in a time of staying
close to home. Televisions
are condemned to broadcast every day
the latest degradations
yet their screens light up with innocence.
The ads don’t know
when they cure constipation
what manner of crime
is to follow. But for now the Earth
has slowed to walking pace. No argument
disturbs the balance
between the four peaks to the east
and the ridgeline in the west.
It’s an easy stroll
from the weekly roundup in the morning to
the evening latest, watching the tall
eucalyptus shake
their crowns in disbelief
and bubbles in the pond where it tried
to swallow some indigestible
occurrence. Das Unerhörte
ist alltäglich geworden. Ingeborg Bachmann
saw the unthinkable become
the norm, now the pigeons know it too
as they sweep up in a flock for
protection. There they go; a chorus
of wings against a sky
where the headline is a cloud.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix since 1978. He grew up in England with watching soccer as a major part of life although he has managed to move on to other interests since then, including reading and writing poetry. Read other articles by David.