The Perfect Fall Morning

It has been a year since it last happened…

Early this morning a mother owl called from the rotting grandfather tree outside my open, waiting window.

And echoing her low, soft whoos,

a baby owl followed the sound–

imitating syllable for syllable, beat for beat–

sometimes overlapping

and beautifully, awkwardly amateur.

And concurrent with my outside companions,

from my daughter’s room came a delightful sound I have not yet heard while she slumbers:

a joyous cackle-laugh

from a beautiful dream no doubt,

void of all the things she doesn’t know.

And though tired, I was awake enough to wonder if I myself were dreaming–

feeling the tiny baby move and squirm against my ribs;

the whoos from the shuttering  leaves, the cackle from the cosseted bed,

and the grandfather tree not yet brought to its knees by the city.

So perfect were the events of this September morning of my 33rd year,

that whenever death decides to take me,

I would ask it to bury me in this moment.

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