If people were dogs, most would be gaze hounds, like the Irish wolfhound that hunts by sight. We rely overwhelming on our sense of sight. Do you see? But as my own vision begins to dim, I find myself using the full suite of my senses more, paying attention to texture and odor, or in the case of this poem, the sounds around me.
A mourning dove mourns all morning in the pine
outside my window, pining for who can say what.
It sounds like a bored boy on a hot day blowing
across his empty Pepsi bottle. Who, who, who.
A little breeze stirs the chimes we hung to give
to air its voice, repeating seven notes at random.
Not much to say, it just rings out faster or slower,
louder or softer, depending on the wind’s whim.
Otherwise, it’s intermittent traffic noise, rising
from the north, falling away south, then vice versa,
punctuated by rifle fire from my nimrod neighbor
who slaughters a paper target tacked to a hay bale.
Were we not between rain showers, there’d be
the usual lawnmowers grumbling and chain saws
ripping through the air along with the blowdown.
Instead, traffic tapers off and ammo is spent.
For a little bit, the country air goes silent, still
as 3 am, until the chimes begin to bell again
as the wind rises from a different direction
and slanting rain returns, hissing on the tin.