Men, Retiring into the Mountains, A Muse Themselves

Gathering around coffee cups, we sometimes talk
of hunting, where and what, how far, how much,
or history, the Old Someone Place. The subject

for yesterday was the wind, and how
it can do any thing it wants.

Today it becomes accidents. “So I’d put
the mower blade back up-side-down--”        
“I figured the rope would hold for a while because—“

Outside the birds are singing in Chinese,
wars in the old capital, wars on the borders.

Outside, the sun, which we remember, continues.
Another man begins, “The ladder wouldn’t reach
so I backed my pickup up to the house—“

Outside, white clouds pass all day.
We are wise, or old. We can afford to laugh.

(First appeared in South Dakota Review, 2007)