Sunrise was heaven—from first rosy blush
outside our farm bedroom, to full-blown
spectacle of rouged sky, to heart-quickening
burst above the horizon. We stood
at the window, fresh from warm covers,
to soak in the spectacle—never
could get enough. Sometimes I’d even step
out on the deck, closer to awe.
My new widow’s cottage in a creek valley
is sheltered from sunrise.
The sun awakens beyond the hill.
I get only slant light through trees,
shadows on banks. I am like the dowager
who misses the opening scene of every play.
By the time I see the sun each morning
its engines are hot and running hard.
Day begins without me.
Ten minutes into The Sibley Guide to Birds
I find him—a black throated blue warbler,
dead on my deck from a window strike.
I’ve lost this bird before I even counted him.
I never would choose this first viewing.
Evening wraps its softness around the house
as I walk to the garden to bury the warbler.
Windows that destroy what they reveal
are safer now as darkness encroaches.
I savor this moment of stillness, a pause
between life and last rites,
between not knowing and knowing.
Patricia L. Goodman is a widowed mother and grandmother and a graduate of Wells College with a degree in Biology and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She spent her career raising, training and showing horses with her orthodontist husband, on their farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She now lives in northern Delaware, where she enjoys writing, singing, birding, gardening and spending time with her family. Many of her poems have been published in both print and online journals, and anthologies and she was the 2013 and 2014 winner of Delaware Press Association’s Communications Contest in poetry. Her first full-length book of poetry Closer to the Ground, was a finalist in the Dogfish Head Poetry Contest, and was published in August, 2014 by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. In 2015 she received her first Pushcart nomination. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural world she loves.