View Through the Sliding Glass Door

Light reddens, leaves grow silhouetted
on low-slung rain and sun-beaten shingles
beyond a worn, unfinished––or no longer finished
––fence: rotting, sloppily staggered vertical
slats with uneven tops and wider seams
spotlit in afternoon rays, while grotesquely
faded and mold-bleached sides darken in relief,
knots transformed into galactic swirls,
cracked by humidity and perpetual storms
(tropical, mercurial dancing among endless summer).

Through the water spots of the
soda-lime glass partition, the ever-present
scent of dead leaves and sandy soil
mix with musty traces of green algae
painted across the dilapidated fence,
the uneven pebbly concrete path
upheaved by thick, desperate roots,
the souring starfruit just out of view,
and vibrant but serenely sparse hibiscus
(whose short-lived red flowers
are relished by the dray of displaced
squirrels) to form a steady subtropical petrichor.

The fence, facing this way, forms a hazy backdrop
as a distinguished live oak dissects the scene,
the rough bark of its trunk splitting
just above the ground,
widening its breadth, the nearer half splitting again
even with the height of the gold-tipped fence,
the other just above,
reaching and splitting in the space obscured
by a low eave––painted white and red,
joining with the blocked gutter
to form a band of white, red and black,
weathered with evidence
of insects and spiders:
cobwebs, husks of cocoons
and abandoned yellow jacket hives––
though the oak’s lowest branches
droop into visibility along this stark, decrepit edge,
dividing again and again into a year-round assemblage,
the endlessly green and browning constellations of oval leaves.

Beyond the plane of the roof,
through the frame created by fence, arching branches
and omnipresent clusters of coarsely-veined leaves,
the highest branches of two more live oaks grasp
for one another, their swaying bulks of Spanish moss
highlighted golden at the edges of thick strands,
darkening sorrowfully in the center,
like tales of lost brides, of conflicts between
conquerors and natives, expansion and resistance.
One appears sickly and wilting,
leaves deep brown, waning and scant, denuded
branches casting shadows like roadmaps.
The other is boastfully green, mantled with
vegetation and pride. There is something
simultaneously unsettling and soothing
in their wind-driven dance, foreign and familiar
above the lives and tribulations of suburbia,
as the sky turns prismatic, and the sole spectator,
the Sun, casts its last cool bright rays
before setting beyond the houses, streets,
fences and vegetation, leaving the scene whispering
in hushed crepuscular contemplation.


About andrewwhiting

A sentimental and sarcastic poet, lover of language, traveling and nature (not a fan of the Oxford comma).
This entry was posted in Poem, Poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s