This morning, cloisonné clouds turn
the wings of gulls into lyrical
patterns against the sky—
a meditation in pinks and apricots
they spiral above and around me,
unreachable, then follow me down
the street to my emptied house.
I pass other people’s children hop-scotching
wildly, freely—with unstable movements
they teeter toward the safety of home square.
From the long shadow of a statue over-
looking city hall, their not-yet-broken
voices rise. The copper hands of its number-
less clock face circle the stippled periods that remain.
Its steeple still scarred from so many past
lightning strikes. And the wind just keeps
blowing through me, as I tread from step to
step to put this old key into this unlocked door.
From within, looking back outside the same
children struggle to balance on one leg, before
straightening into exclamation points.