This morning I saw two ducks play tag
across three suburban lawns.
A black squirrel ran to the curb and greeted me.
I passed two gyms – the people inside,
pedaling on stationary bikes
had bored expressions as they stared out the window
at passing cars.
They paid for that experience.
I felt the whoosh of each passing car
and the scenery changed with every revolution.
I enjoyed ninety minutes of fresh air, light breezes,
I watched the sunrise melt away fog
on the lake
and as the shroud cleared I saw
one white egret
perched still at the edge of the weeds.
I noticed things I wouldn’t have otherwise seen –
the half-eaten, decomposing turtle
at the edge of the ditch,
shell cracked and insides missing.
I wondered: Was it a quick death?
Did it suffer?
Five red winged black birds.
Startled, the doe jumped up from the brush beside me,
ran alongside me some twenty feet before vaulting into the woods.
In different circumstances she may have jumped up
And run in to traffic.
Sarah Hayes serves as the Executive Director of Red Bird Chapbooks, where she also edits and designs books and gets to discover new authors. Her chapbook, The Heart of Everything That Is, was published in 2014. She earned an MFA from Hamline University. In her past life she has been a transportation executive, a number cruncher, an airplane mechanic and at one point she even spent her afternoons eagerly waiting at the mailbox for the next installment in the How and Why Science Library.