Sunday Poems 34: A nest in the closest tree

This past Thursday my friend Jenna and I organized a poetry reading which we held on my balcony. It’s a large balcony. Twenty eight people were in attendance. Mostly friends. One person said they knew me from Twitter. I thought of being a teenager and reading about the concerts John Zorn would have in his apartment in New York. I will compare myself to anything I see.

When it was my turn to read I walked up to the railing and I looked over, my back to the crowd. I realized I could just look over the edge for a while. There were fewer cars on the street than I remembered usually being there. The trees around were a good height for me to look into their foliage. One balcony has a good garden across the street. Birds flying over rooftops. A nest in the closest tree. I turned around and made some jokes and read some poems. I made sure to make eye contact with each person over the next ten minutes.

Thanks to everyone who came to that reading. I will try to let more people know about the next one. I hope to see you there, dear reader, if you live in Edmonton.

Sundays are for sitting in the sun but making sure you’re well hydrated. You bring your water glass to your lips and put it back down again. There’s a tickle in your throat. For a moment, you think you’ve swallowed a wasp. You cough in shock. No wasp. How old are the trees around you? A plane flies overhead. Your friend takes a picture of the jet stream. You get up and put your hand against the closest tree. You push. The tree doesn’t move. It has learned to stay very still. It stands in the sun all day and doesn’t get burned. You also don’t get burned, but some of your friends do. You take off your shoes and an ant crawls up one of the laces. Below is a poem. If one of your friends is under the weather and feeling a bit lonely, consider sharing it with them. Have a great week, everybody.

just down the block

you write and you rewrite
washing the dishes
and i’m buzzing around
pushing dust around
on the floor.

i moved here because i needed more light.

i work at my desk in the living room
and spend a lot of my time looking out the window.

as the day passes
I spend more of my time looking that way –
the light becomes more interesting.

you don’t understand your body
and neither do i.

i am captured.

i measure my waist for new clothes
and am always surprised that it’s the same size.

we used to go for dinner,
hands under the table,
a plate with a sandwich
and a salad.

we used to break things more often
skittering down the street
another night of you or me.

my arm crossed across my chest
to sit my right hand on my left shoulder
keeping warm when we’ve fought.

you’re looking my way and you’re
pouring water into my glass.

a candle on the window.

Originally published May 29, 2016.

Theodore Fox is a poet living on Treaty Six land in Canada.
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