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Richard

by
 It's mid-winter and the sunrise knows it, and wakes me 

with a shudder; I'm just a man.
For 5 cold mornings in a row, the beautiful pheasant has come to our patio to steal some of the dry catfood, sometimes right in front of my cat.
The house is still, and I enjoy the Sunday newspaper with strong, dark coffee; the smell of it dances around in the early darkness.
Driving to church there is bright, eager sunshine, and the shadows of bare winter oaks stripe the lane like a zebra; shadow, light, shadow.
At church I pray for my favorite aunt, Anna, her clock seems to be quickly winding down, dear lady, widow of my favorite uncle, Richard; mostly I just pray that she finds her center.
The pheasant is a male, strikingly colored, so beautiful, in fact, that I've begun to scatter extra catfood to draw him back; we have become his grocery store.
I tell my wife that if he comes a 6th day, I'll give him a name, Richard; but he never comes again.

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