By Rick Williams
Wandering blindly in the morning darkness
I walked--still naked--into the living room,
my hair a ratted mess from flannel sheets.
The furnace roared as house warmed.
Then the house whispered,
"Psst, the hot tub--it beckons."
I turned on a small light in the kitchen.
To exit the house means I must return,
and I wish return to the smell of coffee!
I adjusted the thermostat for my return,
and with coffee brewing, I slid the patio door open.
I tried to go slowly and make no sound,
but the aging rollers under the door betrayed me.
They screamed into the night,
threatening to wake the world.
The freezing cold air enveloped me,
chastising me, ridiculing me for being bare.
I didn't care.
I knew what awaited me.
The pre-dawn darkness still prevailed
as I slid myself into the steaming water.
I inhaled at the sudden attack of heat.
I gazed upward at the dim stars,
wishing I lived in the country
so I could see them all.
The lonely wail of a train engine spoke
from somewhere in the distance,
acknowledging me, celebrating me.
I could even hear the clacking of its wheels
in the dark stillness of the morning.
The stars were slowly fading from view
as the arrival of the sun grew nearer and nearer.
As if on cue I heard the drone of an airplane.
The world was waking up.
The animals next door began to talk
the geese honked and talked among each other
and one of the roosters announced his presence.
But there was just one more thing I wanted.
I wished to see the morning crows.
Every morning they leave their roost
down in the valley where the trains pass,
and return to places where they spend their days
begging for french fries in parking lots.
Ah, there they are--the first ones show,
with mocking cries as they pass overhead.
They're telling me, "It's time. Go back inside.
Your coffee awaits."