Pale and No Wings to Fly
Lying in the grass
beside the rose bush I was dead-heading,
the world has turned upside-down.
A trapeze-artist circus squirrel
is performing at the top of the leafy green tent
for an audience of indifferent starlings and
wind chimes hanging beneath the pergola
call to me like distant church bells.
I consider how strange the descending half-orange
overhead would look if it was a lime as
the cut-grass smell of summer
takes me back to Tennessee,
lying in a field, watching cat-clouds
stalk across the sky.
A crow, sitting unmoved on a nearby limb
seems to stare down at me with disdain
for being so pale
and having no wings to fly
while the tree watches the scene
with its single knothole eye
beneath an arched woody brow.
I feel like I could rest here
forever in the fading light
and I want to tell my wife,
kneeling beside me,
but the lowering sky pressing
down on my chest has left me breathless.
Besides, I’m not sure she would hear me
over the wail of the approaching sirens.
Paul Bluestein is an obstetrician (done practicing) and blues guitar player (still practicing) who lives in Connecticut near a beach where he finds time to reflect on the past, wonder about the future and lose his sunglasses. His work has appeared in Willawaw Journal, Heron Tree, The Linden Avenue Literary Review and Third Wednesday among other publications.. His first full-length collection, Time Passages, was published in 2020 by Silver Bow Publishing.