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Chico on a Ledge

Opening the book at a bright window
above a wide pasture after five years
I find I am still standing on a stone bridge
looking down with my mother at dusk into a river
hearing the current as hers in her lifetime

now it comes to me that that was the day
she told me of seeing my father alive for the first time
and he waved her back from the door as she was leaving
took her hand for a while and said

at some signal
in a band of sunlight all the black cows flow down the pasture together
to turn uphill and stand as the dark rain touches them


“Sun and Rain” by W.S. Merwin, which you’ll find in Collected Poems 1952-1993.

The photo is of Chico laying on a window ledge at my house. There is nothing and no one as comfortable as that cat is when he naps in the sun on a long, lazy afternoon.