Comme Il Faut [As It Should Be]
For Marianna’s Birthday – September 1st
Let me be like the leaves on the trees,
Moving only with the breeze.
Or like the flicker family,
Late of the dead cottonwood,
Living in a tree-cave of their own making,
The entrance just big and round enough for them--
How did they know to do that,
Those geometrical head-peckers? --
And how did they have the character to persevere until it was done?
Feeding their chicks on schedule, finding food, masticating it,
And bringing it back to the right tree--
How did they get that right?
And then, at just the right moment,
Flying away to some new tree-home
That even Dell Webb couldn’t build,
The chicks apparently airworthy their first time out.
Let me be like our backyard Buddha--
In Boulder we all have one--
Intrepid in winter and summer,
Like the U.S. Mail, always getting through,
Yet never leaving its post in our garden:
Cool, calm, collected,
- - -
Cedar, not the tree, the person,
Just came to consult about a deal in the Blair Catalog.
15% off, today only,
Plus, I’ve got a $23 credit, she says.
What do you think about this one? Or this? Or that?
Free shipping too. Only six bucks for everything!
I like the green set, I say.
Okay. Hey, I love that you’re writing a poem. Keep going!
What a team!
(Of course, it could have been me getting a dollar shirt at Sister Carmen’s
and Cedar writing the poem.)
- - -
Let me be like the putto,
The little stone angel slouching in our garden near the straight-backed Buddha,
Forever young, forever ageless,
Totally in synch with the laws of physics,
Relaxed for all eternity,
Headache free, unlike me.
Finally, let me be like Zoe,
Our lovely nine-year-old calico,
Softly furry, unafraid of being alone outdoors in the dark,
A skilled huntress--
Do you know that all calicos are female? --
Here she’s Wonder Woman, lying on her back,
Legs up in the Colorado sun.
Sometimes meditating like the Buddha,
Sometimes a bundle of frenetic occidental energy,
She’s now getting up and mindfully padding down the wooden steps
To the Sacred Garden,
Stopping here and there to check a bush,
Knowing just what to do when,
Beautiful without being vain,
Doing in the moment what’s to be done.
Let me be like the leaves,
The stone Buddha,
The flicker family,
And especially our Zoe,
All knowing their places,
All doing what needs to be done,
Just like You.
Let me be like Me.
Reynold Ruslan Feldman
August 31, 2019