Last night as I lay on the deck looking up there was only one star above me shining its way through the smoky haze.  I felt as though the world was small: one star, friend raccoon rummaging a nightly exploration below the deck, two cats, trees, and me.  We were held in one embrace, and of course, that’s always true, but it was so intimate, and is with me this morning as I reach to understand the complexity of this world.

I want to be Thoreau in his little cabin but my world is wider than that.

When one has a grandchild, views any young child perhaps, one sees past and future combined in an innocence one wants to nurture even as we know each child comes with his or her own gifts, and there is an honoring of ancestry on both sides, branching out like branches on a tree.

For some reason after waking, reflecting, and meditating, I begin my day with Heather Cox Richardson.  Her words are sobering again today.

I’m also with a poem by Rio Cortez and this quote from Claudia Rankine:

Blackness in the white imagination has nothing to do with Black people.’

I want to understand and perhaps this poem by Rio Cortez gives me a clue.  

Driving at Night

For Laquan McDonald

I think it’s quails lining the road but it’s fallen Birchwood.

What look like white clouds in a grassy basin, sprinklers.

I mistake the woman walking her retriever as a pair of fawns.

Could-be animals. Unexplained weather. Maybe they see us

that way. Knowing better, the closer they get. Not quite ready to let it go.

Copyright © 2020 by Rio Cortez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 8, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

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