Light floats in the maples above the pool.
A pair of mallards we’ve named
Carl & Anita crash-land in the shallow end.
They do us no harm.
We let them swim.
A book lies prone on the swing,
the potted petunias are watered,
a bee hums as it leaves each center.
A mower in the distance hums its work ethic;
We suppose a kind of faith—
when the sun spills through the trees
and spotlights a spider on the coping.
This morning, before first light,
an owl called from the distance.
I went out to the pool, spooked a feral cat,
then sat in the dark to listen.
We’ve lived through the dying. And
there will be more. For now
Carl is happy
to follow Anita to the deep end.
They move easily together.
They are not going anywhere.
Joy Gaines-Friedler’s most recent book, Capture Theory is a Forward Review Indiefab Finalist. Her chapbook Stone on Your Stone is co-winner of the 2021 Friends of Poetry Chapbook Contest. Published in over 80 literary magazines and anthologies, Joy’s work is included in The Path To Kindness Edited by James Crews. Joy teaches Creative Writing for non-profits, and communities at risk, including the prison in Lapeer Michigan where she taught poetry to male-lifers, Freedom House Detroit where she taught refugees from western Africa, Common Ground, where she worked with parents of murdered children.