Richard by James Lee Jobe
It's mid-winter and the sunrise knows it, and wakes me
with a shudder; I'm just a man.
For 5 cold mornings in a row, the beautiful pheasant
has come to our patio to steal some of the dry catfood,
sometimes right in front of my cat.
The house is still, and I enjoy the Sunday newspaper
with strong, dark coffee; the smell of it dances
around in the early darkness.
Driving to church there is bright, eager sunshine,
and the shadows of bare winter oaks stripe the lane
like a zebra; shadow, light, shadow.
At church I pray for my favorite aunt, Anna, her clock
seems to be quickly winding down, dear lady, widow
of my favorite uncle, Richard; mostly I just pray
that she finds her center.
The pheasant is a male, strikingly colored,
so beautiful, in fact, that I've begun to scatter extra catfood
to draw him back; we have become his grocery store.
I tell my wife that if he comes a 6th day, I'll give him a name,
Richard; but he never comes again.