Both man and cat are bathed in pleasant
insignificance, their eyes fixed on birds and stars.
– Jim Harrison (“Searchers”)
And when we do look up, unplug our eyes from electronics,
disconnect and free our friends stored inside pocket devices—
the stage is a blur, a swirl of colors, tilting, we must navigate
and find a rhythm we can move to. Focus comes slowly,
footing falters and we are lost for a moment outside
ourselves to reach for the railing, reeling in another world.
A wave of gray rolls across the yard, a covey of round hens
and strutting fat cocks, topnotches bobbing, pecking, watching
for the cat, invading the brown winter lawn as if we were not here,
not responsible for this destination they act like they own.
Even the woodpeckers test the logs since we put the pellet gun
away. The wrens work the window screens, we have become
just another tree among millions, another weakening stand
in this canyon trying to get along with our closest neighbors,
who entertain us constantly. We are the audience, not the stars.