When we lived in Gainesville, our dining room looked out onto the edge of Paynes Prairie State Park. In the poem I imagine a flight that Kim might be imagining:
From your seat before the window you
lift from your chair and take flight
over Paynes Prairie – low at first,
skimming the barbed wire fence,
avoiding the still vacant blue bird house,
then gliding free, twisting over the grasses.
Startled egrets cock their heads
to look up, and sandhill cranes, yes,
crane their necks to see and cry their
raucous welcome to you, the newcomer.
You glide on silent wings over ponds
and marshes, the morning mists lifted,
the sun warm and golden, the breeze
strangely still. You lift yourself on soft
powerful wings, pass the stoic kestrel
standing sentinel on a leafless tree as
meadowlarks rise in alarm, gather, scatter,
and reassemble again in the grasses.
A great blue heron approaches and veers
away. You circle toward distant
trees edging the prairie, but no, in a graceful
turn you swerve back toward the house and me,
my coffee frozen inches from my lips, watching,
transfixed, my wife who was suddenly not
at my side eating breakfast. You skim low over
the reeds to check for frogs, then spy the bulls
ambling into the prairie and can’t resist bothering
them into a small stampede. You swoop
through our window, settle into your chair,
smooth your feathers, and nibble your toast.
And maybe that’s the answer: Use our imagination to inhabit another person’s world.
The answer? But what was the question?