When the Bats Fly

“…Austin is believed to have the world’s largest urban bat population…”
NY Times

In the Marigold Restaurant on Madison Avenue
We sit and talk of bats emerging
From under the Congress Avenue Bridge
We do not talk of your son’s dying.
The regularity of the bats flying comforts us.
When the light fades on the evening,
Blindly and quickly swirling, they snare their prey.
There are so many of them
The sky seems masked with charcoal.

Our table sits next to the window
The sidewalk swirls with shoppers.
There are so many of them,
Coming and going,
Watching us, as we watch them.
We talk through the café noise
The waiter brings hot tea with lemon
And English muffins
As the afternoon ends
We are silent and wonder.

When we leave the restaurant
Even the late sunlight
Makes us squint and forget
How short a time until evening
When the bats fly.


The Exam Room

In the empty exam room
Silent without
Nurse, doctor, patient
Taped next the blank computer screen
Only an out of date schedule
Bears witness to fear.

In the empty exam room
Serene basic beige walls
A tan waxed smooth linoleum floor
Struggle to keep the bugs away
Purity and immortality
Improbable and impossible.

In the empty

A working table

Body, heart, soul
Wait until

The exam is over.

In the empty exam room
No windows to see
The wind blow
The birds fly into the sun
Who can believe
In hope
Confronted by death?

The possibility of hearing
Without privilege
The impossibility of healing
Without love
Or insurance

In the empty exam room.


Find Me

Find me in the garden
weeding the eggplant

Find me in the arbor
pruning the roses

Find me in the yard
digging dandelions

Find me behind the shed
emptying the trash

Find me soon
before I am lost