Week of Present Tense

The day begins.
He pushes dreams aside,

retrieves the Sunday paper
from the vestibule,
says aloud to himself:

But this is
yesterday.

Everything reminds him of something
else. He refuses to respond
to memory’s taunt.

Refuses to predict
his winter feelings.

He sees two dead squirrels
and a woolly bear caterpillar
that moves slowly across the path

as he runs. Their narratives
remain dormant.

A parliament of owls
protects him
from night fears.

He doesn’t see or hear them
but knows they breathe nearby.

He knows it’s a lie.
Even solitary animals sometimes
need stories to promote the group.

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