The hair salon was shuttered
and lawn service suspended
while my hair and the grass grew longer.
Creeping Charlie advanced hour by hour
in my small corner of Earth.
There was a plethora of dandelions
and finches flashing gold,
a coyote lolling in the ball field,
another strolling on the sidewalk.
Two horned owls and their fledglings
spread wings wide over streets
ghostly in their silence. A red-tailed hawk swooped in,
landed on the front stoop railing.
Through the window it fixed its gimlet eye on mine.
Worldwide, the story seemed the same.
Where Mumbai’s fut-futs once snarled traffic,
a peacock danced. His audience of peahens
roosted on idled cars.
Wild boars descended on Barcelona.
Tourists decamped from Rio’s beaches
and sea turtle hatchlings multiplied.
Whales invaded the global shipping lanes.
A wild goat snacked on flowers in Llandudno’s window boxes,
deer held races through the empty roads of Zakopane,
and grizzlies toured Yosemite landmarks. Yet, underneath it all
a dreadful quiet prevailed.
CJ Muchhala’s work can be found in Never Forgotten: 100 Poets Remember 9/11, as well as other anthologies, print and on-line journals including Mobius: the Journal of Social Change, Rise Up Review, previous issues of Portage, and in art/poetry exhibits. Her work has been nominated for the Best of the Net and twice for the Pushcart Prize.