today I stood ashore the Puget Sound
and watched a whale being a whale
for a solid hour.
the fantastic animal would surface,
blow a plume of mist into the air,
and dive again,
its great tail splashing
like a wave goodbye
into the water.
a small crowd had gathered
to watch this happen
from Point Defiance Park,
every time the whale dove
and flashed that magnificent tail
people all around me would
“ooh” and “ah”
and i would,
i saw one old man’s wrinkled face
light up like a baby’s
as he turned to his wife in amazement
at the sight of this incredible animal.
everyone smiled at each other
dumb smiles of wonderment
adults and children alike
by our fascination.
i felt connected to my fellow humans
egos dissolved all at once
in sheer awe of this creature.
then, 15 minutes after leaving the park
driving through an intersection,
a woman decided not to turn at the last second
and i had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting her.
punched my dashboard
brought the frustration to two more
before reaching home,
thoroughly fed up with humanity.
i cracked a beer
sat on my patio
and stared at the trees lining the streets.
there were people in the streets, too,
but i pretended they weren’t there.
i just wanted the trees
and their leaves.
the leaves were bright autumn yellow
in the sun,
as big crows perched in their braches.
i love crows; their commonness
has never diminished my appreciation for them.
i sipped my beer
watched the crows perched among the yellow leaves
flaring in their final days of living
as the sun set on the city,
and i thanked God for another day
living here, living without learning
much of anything
for very long.