Thursday, September 20, 2012

Washing Windows in Autumn

Washing Windows in Autumn

You know the job.
Balancing on a ladder,
trying not to notice
that the world's a wobblier place
than it was a decade ago.

Autumn’s light is steeper.
It reveals more than naked trees through the glass,
and tilts you into ritual cleansings:
the annual battle with detritus.

Face to face with it, the year returns.
While you drifted through the weeks,
the pines threw pollen, the spiders spun,
the neighbor’s garden sifted over.

And, despite your efforts, at least two birds 
thought the panes were air.
And now you've got to clear that moment away.
The worst:  the time when the phoebe
dove for the butterfly decal.
Bloody hell.

And then there are all the parent spiders
you try to gently brush toward the ground,
and doing so, watch the pepper clouds of babies
scrambling for their lives
as you hear yourself apologize.

When your shoulders start to ache,
and the ladder starts to shake,
a leisurely pace can't be maintained.

So, you focus on sparing that one spider
you've watched from inside the house
as she raised her tiny brood on the outside.

And finally, you wonder if God struggles as you do,
when you're deciding whom to save,
while merely trying to improve the view.

Cathy Wilson