Shattersday’s Childe

Early morning. Phone call from Ireland, 90-year-old mother in nursing home. Law of diminishing returns. Sun streaming in here, the birds hectic and eager for food. Scrub jays take peanuts from the hand, a wood pigeon perches on a stone bowl filled with water. Spiderweb catches the sun, a golden skein leading to a wicker chair. This is the first Saturday in forever with no demands on our time, no sinks and toilets to plumb into refinished bathroom floors, no windows to be sanded, no this, that, the other to be fulfilled. The world here is quietly returning to some semblance of normal, a figuring out of routine and ritual we must create to make this new home work. The dog paces, eyes on the wandering chickens, their tufted legs tempting morsels. Bubbling fountain by my outdoor writing space brings a sense of Tassajara’s creekside cabins. Workdays are long and a mixture of fulfilling and exhausting at once. Read a poem about an owl, feel the flap of the pigeon’s wings. Small boys visit, the yarbelling of kids a made-up word from a clever daughter.