The weather, he announced
to no one in particular,
ought to be musical or at least
incorporate some jazz.
Spring is bebop, Trane and Parker,
the sudden clash of Blakey
the downpours of Dizzy
and the hint of what’s to come
on the fingers of Monk, and
Kenny and Milt.
Summer brings the slow easing
as early Miles slides in, and we
sink nto Chet and Stan.
Bebop returns as summer fades
but turns harder, with Dexter
Sonny and Benny and we know
that winter approaches, with its
disconcert, the sun an ever
more infrequent visitor,
Ornertte and Pharoah reminding us
that the dark cold was our share
until Sun Ra apears on the horizon.
It has rained for uncounted days on end
and we half expect one of our neighbors
to begin building an ark, so we look
through the falling drops for pets to line up
in double file ranks, seeking selection
for a journey they know must be coming.
Overhead, the dove sits in the maple
knowing his time to star will soon arrive
but unsure where there could possibly be
a Russian olive tree within flight range
but then, as the sewer drains overflow
he knows any branch will complete his work.
The sun finally appeared this morning
and the weatherman now predicts a drought.
He is never certain what to do on days
like this one, when the winter takes
a particularly nasty turn, the temperature
hovers at utter emptiness, and the wind
elects to try to enfold everything it can reach
in a coat of frost, that bleaches life away.
He walks each day, through the nearby park
if the weather is the least bit cooperative,
through the neighborhood when not, where
at least he can take a small shelter from the wind
in the shadow of houses closed up tightly,
life walled away within, smarter, he imagines
than he is, his fingers ill-gloved, slowly losing
all feeling, but this is his practice, something
he does because it requires doing, heeding
an edict from an unspoken voice. And later
emerging from a hot shower, feeling limbs
restored, he glances at the weather in hopes
the next day will be kinder, and slow in coming.
Tomorrow, he is certain,
it will be sunny and surprisingly warm
or it will rain, with a cool breeze
or it will be temperate
but rather cloudy.
It may be none of these
or all, by turns.
He would ask the weatherman
but he knows none and this
would be such a personal question
you need an intimacy
that he has rarely felt.
The weather doesn’t really matter
to him anyway, for tomorrow
he is certain, his room
will be unchanged, only
the nurses will be different.
Outside, even the crows
are quiet this morning,
seeking a warmth
that eludes us all.
We all know winter
has finally arrived
as we shiver and try
so very hard to remember
the warmth of summer,
the bloom of the lilacs
and the magnolia petals
to mark our path.
He screwed up his face into the scowl
that fairly shouted to all, “Don’t Ask!”.
She knew better but knew also that she
had no choice, “What’s the matter now?”
“It’s just,” he said, softening a bit, “that
I so seldom get the weather I need,
much less the weather I want, it’s never
the sort I ask, no matter how nicely I put it.”
She threw caution to the wind, smiled
and said, “It isn’t, of course, that the weather
isn’t what you ask, it most certainly
almost always is. It is simply that the weather
is perfect and you always show up
in precisely the wrong place to enjoy it.”
Tomorrow will arrive
as each day before it:
it will snow
or not snow, rain
or not rain or be sunny
or perhaps some combination.
At this time tomorrow
darkness will settle in
and the clouds, if there are any
will shroud the moon
if there is any, and, if not
the street light outside
our window will
be lonely yet again.