This Moment: 9:17 A.M. May 19, 2012

I have taken refuge from the morning sun under my corkscrew willow. The neighbor two homes over is preparing for a wedding in her backyard. A backhoe is pacing up and down her driveway, making impatient turns while a work crew shovel rock around the perimeter of the flower beds. The story is a romantic one: two lovers meet again after thirty years. The small dog is whining and straining against his leash. A small plane barrels through the sky. The small dog has resigned himself to a patch of shade cast by a lawn chair. A woodpecker is abusing a nearby tree. I wonder how many times the bird must strike the tree before it reaches the insect harboring inside. On the way back from yard sale foraging I saw a line of flags, their red and white stripes folding and unfolding in the slight breeze. My uncle has a new tree planted in Veteran's Park for him. I have yet to stand before it. The cover of the paper this morning showed the face of a Syrian boy who lost his father to a sniper's bullet, and it is all any of us will ever need to know war. The jets have been flying all week, their testosterone-filled backwash setting my teeth on edge. A bird has settled on the covered awning directly above and shares the space with me. I am always surprised how fearless birds are under the shelter of this tree.

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