Like Human Adolescents
Two hummingbirds, dramatic iridescence,
playing at sexual tag in the backyard, yet
way too late for the pull of spring incubation.
They may each have lost a mate to predation’s
insecurity; I’ve never noticed hummingbird
infidelity, then again perhaps they are just horny.
Shadows creep up on you surreptitiously and as
dawn rises to noon they trip and fall to their knees
performing silent obeisance at meridian, thinning out
towards an eastern infinity as day fades to dusk and then
into splendid sunsets: purples, reds; retinal sensuousness
dispelled by knowledge of particulate matter and vapor.
There are shades to shadows too, not just from sun, but
of moon and stars and fog; of dispersed, elusive fractals,
water beads skittering, grey fog phantoms trying to hide
in peripheral vision, trying to capture you unaware.
Moon shadows sway like the tides; adding, ebbing,
flowing through night and imagination until fleeing.
Star shadows exist, but can be seen only by night
fairies and fireflies when switched off, both keen
seers of the heavens when Selene hides her face and
stellar sylphs rule the night until her bloom’s restored.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.