June Morning, Sargakhet
The dawn comes early here. I rise with her
easily, rested, even though the night
brought armies through my dreams, wave after wave:
the monsoon wind first, tearing the branches loose,
hurling them to the roof, then swooping down
to work the roof itself free from the eaves.
And then the rain, for hours, its thrash and thrum
a raging heartbeat telling me some truth
about the heart, unmeasured, unrestrained—
how frightening it can sound, and comforting
at once. Even the calm that settled in
after the rain loomed like a worried truce
until, before the dawn, two small gray birds
stole the last crumbs of quiet from the sill.
 
None of this has disturbed me. I awaken
to watch fog climb the hillside, angled light
fracture the open doorway, where a string 
of marigolds turns to a string of jewels.
Anywhere else, I’d miss the laughing thrush
calling his mate, ignore the blue-tipped wing
a black bird shed. Here, time slows till the bee
arrests the swerve and dart, coming to rest
on fronds of saffron-spiked crocosmia
to find a long, sure drink. On the same stalk,
a silver drop hangs somehow undisturbed.
I watch for hours. These hills ask for no more
than what they offer: silence, passion, sense,
storm and then quiet, all risked, all set right.
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