They All Let Him Know

They all let him know he is an

intruder. He may have paid for

the place (cash, in fact) seven

years or so ago; he may have

hung the jalapeno Christmas

lights on the small balcony as

soon as he got to the condo in

November to show his holiday

spirit and even put up the

hummingbird feeder (one part

sugar to four parts water) to be

hospitable, but every variety in

these parts and that’s quite a few,

still buzz his head when he goes

out on the balcony to hang his

wet swimsuit. They buzz the

hand that feeds them. Every time,

he ascends and descends the flight

of stairs, the bird in the olive tree,

instead of offering him an olive

branch, warns him with a high-

pitched, loud cry that the bird,

belongs and that he doesn’t.

And that’s the least of it.  During

the night, coyotes howl against his

slumbering presence and in the

morning, those coyotes stand on

the hillside staring down their long

snouts disapprovingly at him and his

chocolate lab as he takes out the dog

for the first of three daily constitut-

ionals into coyote country. Javel-

inas snort at him as he jogs by the

shady wash where they retreat

from the afternoon heat and 

little scorpions rush down their

home holes in utter disgust at the

sound of his invading footsteps

and sometimes even, like right

now, the ink in his pen balks

and refuses to come out because

the oil from his thumb got be-

tween the ink and the paper. It’s

as if he is being told he is an

intruder in his own poem.

1 thought on “They All Let Him Know

  1. This is so very good … from the heart of man who pays attention to the life and world around him. Some would suggest: get a big stick, or whatever, and show those senseless brutes who’s boss … but it’s the damned pen, that little instrument, and its refusal to work, that reminds us that no matter the size of the stick or the meanness therein, can we ever be anything else but an outsider.

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