after she goes - Cecil W. Morris

after she goes
I adopt the egret’s posture
and practice waiting

I stand along
the margins and watch
until I become landscape

an absence of color
against green, a vacancy ‒
the white flag frozen

the blasted, blessed white
at the water’s edge
an ankle-deep observer

the world filling my eyes
no ripple, no leaf moving
after she goes

Cecil Morris wiles away his retirement – after thirty-seven years of teaching high school English! – reading, writing, and riding his bike which doesn’t move through a scenery of podcasts and boredom. Having lived most of his life in the wide and presently arid central valley of California, he likes to escape to ocean beaches. He continues to favor the bright colors he wore in order to stand out on school field trips. Right now, he might be reading a novel by Louise Erdrich or poetry by Sharon Olds (or David Kirby or Tony Hoagland or Maggie Smith) or trying to learn the names of all the birds that visit the yard he shares with his indulgent partner, the mother of their children (including the son who played the snare in the marching band years and years ago).