Curtis Bauer

A Reason for Concern

I’m not sorry that today is
the beginning of fall. I’m
not sorry I can’t
see what floats above New Jersey
or the George Washington Bridge.
Nor that I sat for eleven hundred
miles so I could be here
watching black birds
graze among acorn husks
on my back lawn. The squirrels
wake me and keep me
awake at night. Days
have turned into years,
and I’m not sure I can be pushed and filled
and remain the way the wind moves
the maple leaves, the way the branches
accumulate chattering
black birds, the way these oak trunks
refuse to splinter outside
my windows. I don’t believe
the woman I sleep with
when she tells me I talk in my sleep.
I don’t believe in the language that makes
me want to fall in love
with sounds, in the black birds
telling me I won’t understand, in the squirrels
ignoring me walk down the street.

Curtis Bauer
From the poetry collection Fence Line (BkMk Press 2004)
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Curtis Bauer
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse