Amazing what I notice since my world has shrunk.
Each sunset is quite unique in its shadings of gold,
orange, scarlet, sometimes lavender. Depending on
cloud cover or mist, there are stripes and patches
of vibrant color that fade gradually with the light.
There’s always something blooming around me—
the crimson of bottle-brush trees, the piquant
star jasmine with its giddy fragrance. Even the hedges
flaunt delicate pink flowers. All of it
nestles among a thousand shades of green.
Scents, too, are more noticeable. I know what everyone
in the neighborhood is eating on any given day
from mouth-watering fragrances that waft through air
directly to my nose. Next door, Italian, with pervasive
garlic and rich tomato. On the other side, I catch
whiffs of burning charcoal, followed by the rich
smell of grilling steak. From somewhere down
the block, I detect roasting chicken. We add
to the neighborhood richness of redolence
with our pungent curry, which tantalizes
the nose and tingles the tongue.
Solar tubes in the ceiling cast rainbow whispers
on different walls and floor all day long.
The house sings varied songs
and maintains its rhythms—the clack-clack
of the dryer, whoosh of washer, hum
and crackle of the fridge, slosh of dishwasher,
whirr of ceiling fans, ohm of microwave.
Gurgle and splash as we wash hands
at least fifty times a day.
Bird song seems more lilting in the mornings,
and flight most active just before dusk.
Ubiquitous crows strut their shiny darkness
across emerald green of grass,
cry raucously from rooftops.
Bluebirds and spotted towhees are air-borne
arcs of color around the trees.
Our cat is on high alert—crouched,
with twitching ears and tail as sparrows perch
above the neighbor’s windows.
In the evening, the sofa’s textured leather
soothes my skin as I relax there, stroking
my cat’s downy fur. His purr rumbles his chest
while his bulk warms my thighs.
My husband passes by and plants a soft kiss
on my forehead. I peruse crisp pages of a magazine
held above my cat’s body, and he occasionally
reaches up to bat the offender away.
Writers need to relish the gifts of all their senses,
I used to tell my students.
Being house-bound has rekindled
Submitted by Leslie Clark, San Diego County – Oceanside.