First Morning

Wind shakes the small house
where, all night, I sleep, then wake,
to the basso foghorn's desperate call,
to the circling cry of coyotes.
I cannot guess how near they come
to the thin-walled house.
Hard to rest in stillness when
I'm used to rigged-up cars, their music
shaking the neighborhood.
Bass of the foghorn,
bass of the beat;
any sound a lullaby if
it rocks you to sleep.
Here, a constant chattering
of birds and the sharp scent
of wild fennel growing
just outside the door.
Down hill, the beach.
Puget Sound
with its changing tides.
It's difficult to navigate
in any new geography,
difficult to breathe
in the salt laden air.
What looks like a cloud
in the distance is a mountain,
and I've never seen such trees,
tall as buildings, more ancient
than the city in which I live.
The water, from my cabin door,
resembles sequins, shimmering
through fog-filtered sun.
My heart beats urgently
in such unaccustomed light.
If I walk out, just steps
from my tiny porch, I could
roll, slowly, down
the dry brown hillside,
toward the foghorn's
call, that gasping sound.

William Reichard is the author of three collections of poetry, including This Brightness (Mid-List Press, 2007). His new collection, Sin Eater, is forthcoming. (williamreichard@comcast.net)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761