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A Little Closer to the Brilliance of the Sky

by Britt Zimmerman

When the sun begins to set
In Arizona
And the clouds try to outshine
It's beams.

Brilliant fiery pinks
and orange-reds
Float like brushstrokes
Across the sky...
And they fade to lavender fields
The further they get from the horizon

Fields of cotton find
Find small patches of land
Alongside the traffic jam freeway.

And the hawks
that reside atop street lights
glide above the commuters
And I wonder if anyone else
Is admiring their wingspan...
Kind of like the juxtaposition
Of "stopping to smell the flowers"
Among the exhaust fumed
Concrete jungle

I flip the radio stations
About a hundred times
Finally settling on the dry
"White noise" commercials
Because I'm too lost
In thought
To pay attention
or to try to sing along

Cotton swims
Through the dusty breeze
And I'm heading south
On the 101

Trying to understand
The magnitude
of this very moment

About why the Monk
Climbed the Camel
And got down on his knees

Or about whether the hawks
and I really do have some
Strange and inexplicable

I remember one year,
sitting on the back patio
Of the "Queen Creek House"

Desert flowers
In delicate purples and blues
Scattered themselves
Amongst gravel hills
And Palo Verde trees

And about ten feet in front of me
Sat a small, makeshift
Basketball court
Big enough to play
A rousing game of horse on
...but not much else

I am lost inside myself
That day...
Not much different than
Any other
I'm not even sure
what I was thinking about

But the sound
Of strong wings flapping
Somewhere overhead
Broke the silence...

And I heard the screechy
"Nails on a chalkboard" sound
And looked up to see
Him perched there
Atop the backboard of the basketball hoop

He was the color
Of the desert sand
A greyish sort of dusty brown
With a creamy white chest

He looked me right in the eye

And for a moment

I swear I felt his soul

...Then reality set in...

And I got a little nervous But only for a moment...
And then...
...he spread his wings
And was gone.

...This was shortly after you died

And since then, when I see them
I feel you close

And I think...

This is why the Monk
Is frozen in time
atop Camelback Mountain

And this is why
The hawks circle on the breeze

Like you,
They have felt the glory
Of being just a little bit closer
To the brilliance of the sky...


Posted on 12/21/2014
Copyright © 2023 Britt Zimmerman

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