For This Time, At Least

by Ken Hada


As darkness descends, this time

in-between, when stars are not yet lit,

the moon lingering far away, I sit

like stone, hear whippoorwills,

some in woods north of me, some

to the south, and for the moment,

look up into soft sky, feel how good

it is to be on this planet, on this piece

of earth, this place in Oklahoma,

and for this time, at least, I will not

allow thoughts of a greedy governor

or a corrupt congress – betrayers

of the commonwealth, of common

sense – an eviscerated education,

emaciated common good enter me.

For these moments I will quietly sit,

practice the old art of wu wei, let

night birds fill me. I welcome night,

ducking too much light, a squinting

fool seeking guidance from stealthy

birds. Their song blending with geese

honking high overhead, a distant dog

barks, cattle lowing, tremoring tree

frogs, cicadas, crickets – bats diving

and darting and I am comforted.

For this time, at least, I am nothing

but an empty cup waiting to be full again.

Originally published in This Land: Fall 2016