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.

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