This quiet morning
watching birds at the water
Crane standing deep to his knees
Habitat in still morning. Poised sentinel grey heron flees before noonday fountain performance. Widening ripples clear water lilies, slender grasses, and sticky sedges swirl toward the verges, where a Snowy Egret wades for frogs, and inky cormorant warms its widened wings.
on a bench behind green reeds
not to scare the birds …
Hostile city leaks through the watery sound filter. Rising, arching and falling on this summer-languid pool. Whispered splashes calm and diffuse the hubbub — or try — yet on the avenue, motorbikes vroom and sirens pierce, and a helicopter’s vibration taunts like mouth raspberries formed by a loose-lipped child.
Morning, they’ll return —
now only the brave remain,
Carp swirl through water.
Hours pass, urban cacophony subsides, sound of spray dissolves into night, I hear insects through the screens.
Evening — quiet.
I rest on the couch — what’s that?
By Mary Ellen Gambutti
Mary Ellen writes about her life as an Air Force daughter, search and reunion with her birth family, her gardening career, and her survival of a stroke at mid-life. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gravel Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Remembered Arts Journal, The Vignette Review, Modern Creative Life, Halcyon Days, The Book Ends Review, and . Her short memoir, Stroke Story, My Journey There and Back is self-published. She and her husband live in Sarasota, Florida, with their rescued Schnoodle. Photo by the author.