This morning out the window
I see that autumn light is back
Sitting in our garden.
With his floppy fedora
Rumpled, tweedy suit
And dusty yellow shoes
He has the appearance
Of a hard-working traveling salesman
Who’s been a long time on the road
And has stopped
To take it easy for a while.
As he looks around the place
At the tool shed
At the arbor with its a few remaining
Bunches of grapes
And the step ladder beneath it
At the exhausted tomato plants
That labored so earnestly all summer
At the fallen sycamore leaves
Littering the ground
I appreciate once more
As I do every year at this time
How his golden attentions
Transform the commonplace into the rare
The plain into the precious.
When he sees me
Inside looking out
He tips his hat and beckons
So I pour an extra cup of coffee
And go outdoors
Where we sit together in the cool morning air
Saying nothing we haven’t said to each other
Hundreds of times over the years
And feeling quietly grateful
For one more reunion of two old friends.
By Buff Whitman-Bradley
Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Front Range Review, Hawai’i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday, Watershed Review, and others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.