A sweet, gentle rivulet of chiming
wakes me, my morning alarm.
The light is already late.
It creeps into the room,
hoping I won’t notice
The warmth of the dog
seeps through my thin duvet,
contrasting the cold of the fan-driven air.
I turn and curl around him.
He stretches out along the length
of my body in dreamy response,
his velvety auburn head squirming its way
up onto my pillow
which always makes me chuckle,
in spite of my itchy eyes,
because he’s so sweet in his sleep.
A falling pig hickory shatters the quiet
like a gunshot on my roof.
Neither the dog nor I even flinch.
Years of autumns here
have made the sound familiar to us.
He yawns, rolls partway onto his back
and lazily waves a paw so I’ll
reach around and scratch his belly.
For so long
I was lost.
I was distracted by the false promise
of a life meted out in milliseconds
and measured in achievements.
I’ve bought into Work Ethic
and The Bottom Line.
I’ve aimed for The Future,
worshipped at the altar
of What’s Next.
And I sold it all.
I let it go for the peace of these mornings:
the sweet smell of warm fur,
the flimsy light of dawn gathering itself for breakfast,
the rude drumming of hickory nuts,
the insistent tinkling of my alarm,
the slow building of awakening
in the here,